The Swiss branch of a major Russian bank also joined OpenVASP.

Gazprombank Switzerland, the subsidiary of one of Russia’s largest banks, tested its Bitcoin transaction service (BTC) after regulatory approval in the country.

Swiss bank Gazprombank to launch cryptoservices next year
According to an announcement on 19 November, Gazprombank will provide its new cryptomoney solution in cooperation with its partners such as the company fintech Avaloq and the cryptomoney storage provider Metaco.

Gazprombank Switzerland CEO Roman Abdulin said the new service is intended to make transactions with crypts „as easy as transactions with traditional assets,“ he said:

„Digital assets will be increasingly important for our clients and the global economy. We are pleased to be working together with leading Swiss-based entities on the further development of the Swiss and global blockchain and cryptomoney ecosystem“.

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Along with the debut of its first BTC transactions, Gazprombank Switzerland also announced that the bank has joined OpenVASP, a major industry association focused on regulatory compliance for virtual asset service providers, or VASPs.

Launched in late 2019, OpenVASP aims to help VASPs comply with the so-called „travel rule“ anti-money laundering regulation introduced by the Financial Action Task Force. According to the announcement, Gazprombank Switzerland is the first banking institution to join OpenVASP along with industry leaders such as the Swiss cryptoexchange Bitcoin Suisse and local crypt bank Sygnum.

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The latest news from Gazprombank Switzerland comes shortly after the bank obtained approval from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority to offer trading and custody services for cryptomoney to its institutional and corporate clients in late October 2020. Wholly owned by Russia-based Gazprombank, Gazprombank Switzerland has been preparing to launch crypt services in Switzerland since at least 2018.

Gazprombank is not the only Russian bank testing cryptology and blockchain services abroad. In September 2020, Sberbank, the country’s largest state-owned bank, joined a blockchain platform for commodity trade finance through its Swiss subsidiary.

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