One of Russia’s biggest bank with total assets of $64 billion, Gazprombank, is to buy and sell bitcoin through its Swiss branch.
That’s after receiving a license from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) to provide cryptocurrency bank accounts to corporate and institutional clients.
“We expect digital assets to become increasingly important in the global economy and, in particular, for our current and potential clientele,” Gazprombank’s CEO Roman Abdulin said.
This is a traditional bank that offers retail accounts with it now expanding to offer crypto services for a select clientele to begin with.
It is owned by Gazprom, the Russian gas giant, and has in its board of directors Alexei Miller, a former Deputy Minister of Energy of Russia.
The bank was sanctioned by the United States in 2014, prohibiting US citizens from providing it new financing.
Now they’ve moved to bitcoin and crypto trading while also providing custody shortly after Iran amended a law to use bitcoin for imports at a state level.
Meaning there may be some sort of a Russian state level bitcoin strategy to potentially use the alternative money in cases where dollars or other fiat money are not usable.
That could offer the country some sort of financial independence as bitcoin enters a new level of adoption.