Major Russian bank explores crypto investment amid strong demand

Regulation

Tinkoff Investments, the online brokerage of major Russian private bank Tinkoff, is researching cryptocurrency investment services despite the Bank of Russia withholding the bank from launching such tools.

Tinkoff Investments head Dmitry Panchenko claimed that the bank’s brokerage portal is considering projects related to cryptocurrency investment but it’s too early to discuss specific ideas.

The company is now working on research and development initiatives targeting a range of crypto-related services, Panchenko said in an Oct. 28 interview with local news agency TASS. Tinkoff Investments is specifically looking at crypto products by companies like international payment giant PayPal, as well as crypto-friendly apps like Revolut and Robinhood.

Panchenko emphasized that, despite local regulators not yet allowing companies like Tinkoff Investments to provide crypto investment services, Russians are still actively trading crypto on foreign platforms, having more than $15 billion worth of crypto assets on exchanges:

“One way or another, people get exposure to crypto and they do it outside of the country. It would be potentially correct to provide such services within the Russian legal system. This is not possible legally today, but the issue needs to be discussed and studied more deeply.”

Panchenko added that brokerages like Tinkoff stand to benefit from the adoption of crypto investment services. He also stressed that the bank has seen growing demand particularly for investments in crypto as opposed to using crypto for payments, which is prohibited in Russia by the country’s crypto law “On Digital Financial Assets.”

Tinkoff did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.

Related: Russian crypto market worth $500B despite bad regulation, says exec

The news comes months after Tinkoff CEO Oliver Hughes claimed that the Russian central bank was withholding Tinkoff from offering crypto trading services. “There’s no mechanism for us to offer that product to them in Russia at the moment because the central bank has got this very tough position,” Hughes said.

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