Gazprombank Switzerland, a subsidiary of one of the biggest banks in Russia, has debuted its Bitcoin (BTC) transaction service following regulatory approval by Swiss regulators.

As per a November 19 announcement, Gazprombank will offer its new crypto solution in collaboration with its long-running partners such as fintech firm Avaloq and cryptocurrency custody provider Metaco.

Gazprombank Switzerland chief executive Roman Abdulin said that the launched service plans to make cryptocurrency transactions “as easy as transactions with traditional assets,” stating:

“Digital assets will become increasingly important for our clients and the global economy. We are pleased to work together with leading Swiss-based entities on the further development of the Swiss and global crypto and blockchain ecosystem.”

In addition to launching its first BTC transactions, Gazprombank Switzerland additionally announced that the firm has joined OpenVASP, a leading industry association focused on regulatory compliance for virtual asset service providers (VASPs).

Unveiled in late 2019, OpenVasp plans to helps VASPs in complying with the Anti-Money Laundering regulation rolled out by the Financial Action Task Force. As per the announcement, Gazprombank Switzerland is the very first bank to join OpenVASP alongside major industry companies like Swiss crypto broker Bitcoin Suisse and local crypto bank Sygnum.

The recent news from Gazprombank Switzerland arrives just after the bank got approval from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority to provide cryptocurrency custody and trading services to its institutional and corporate customers in late October 2020.
Owned by Russia-based Gazprombank, Gazprom Switzerland has been readying to roll out cryptocurrency services in Switzerland since around 2018.

Gazprombank is not the only Russian banking institution trying crypto and blockchain-related services overseas. In September 2020, Sberbank, Russia;s largest government-run bank, joined a blockchain-based platform for commodity trade finance via its Swiss subsidiary.

Whereas Russian banks are rushing to launch cryptocurrency services in other countries, Russian legislators keep rolling out additional limits to the crypto sector. Apart from officially banning payments in cryptocurrency in 2021, Russian authorities additionally want to introduce prison terms for failing to report yearly crypto transactions of around $600,000.


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