Barclays' Former Russian Bank Has Issued a Token-Collateralized Loan

Expobank has issued its first loan using WAVES tokens as collateral – the bank are now estimating what future demand could be.

Aug 19, 2020 at 12:21 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 9:45 a.m. UTC

Expobank, the former Russian subsidiary of global investment bank Barclays, has followed Silvergate and issued a loan that uses tokens, in this case, WAVES, as collateral.

The loan was made to an entrepreneur and tax consultant, Mikhail Uspensky, who bought WAVES in 2018 for a planned initial coin offering (ICO). When that fell through he tried staking them, before ultimately deciding to negotiate a token-collateralized loan with Expobank – who, it turns out, was receptive to experimenting with new loan issuances.

The tokens are now being held by a third-party notary. The loan amount, as well as the terms of the agreement, have not been disclosed.

Barclays acquired Expobank for $745 million, months before the 2008 financial crisis. The new Russian subsidiary failed to gain much traction in its home market and the U.K. investment bank sold it on to notable local banker Igor Kim for an undisclosed sum in early 2019.

Expobank's dabble in token collateralized loans comes after Silvergate said it had issued a total of $22.5 million worth of loans collateralized by bitcoin in July. The California-based bank only started offering them to clients in January.

Just a few weeks ago, Russia passed a law, which comes into force in January, that will regulate centrally issued digital securities and also defined cryptocurrencies as a form of taxable property that can't be used as a payment method.

A bank spokesperson told CoinDesk the test had been successful and they would watch regulatory trends to estimate future demand for these products.

The move might help make Expobank more attractive to borrowers and help push it up Russia's banking rankings: it's loan portfolio currently languishes at 54 nationwide.

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