Sberbank, the largest and state-owned Russian bank, has launched Russia’s first exchange-traded fund (ETF) that provides exposure to companies in the blockchain industry.
Sberbank Asset Management announced that the fund, called Sberbank Blockchain Economy ETF, is now trading on the Russian stock market under the ticker “SBBE.”
The ETF aims to track the Sber Blockchain Economy Index and offers investors exposure to cryptocurrency trading firms such as Coinbase (COIN), Galaxy Digital, and Digindex. It also covers crypto and mining companies, as well as consulting firms in the blockchain industry.
Sberbank Asset Management’s General Director, Evgeny Zaitsev, mentioned that investing directly in crypto-assets carries high risks, so they propose investing in companies involved in blockchain technology development instead.
The ETF allows investors to gain exposure to the blockchain economy without the complexities associated with directly dealing with digital assets, according to the company’s press release.
Meanwhile, Russia’s central bank has a negative stance on cryptocurrencies, with the governor openly discouraging people from investing in them. The central bank also plans to ban crypto investments in the country due to concerns about money laundering and terrorism financing, despite the significant volume of annual transactions in Russia. Additionally, Russia is working on developing its own central bank digital currency (CBDC) backed by the ruble.