Russia's Largest Bank Joins Enterprise Ethereum Alliance

The newest member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance is also Russia's largest bank.

AccessTimeIconOct 18, 2017 at 7:10 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:03 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance just welcomed its first Russian bank.

After signing up more than 100 businesses to build enterprise distributed ledger technology compatible with the ethereum blockchain, the group has added Sberbank, the nation's largest bank, to its growing list.

Revealed in interview with CoinDesk, Sberbank framed its addition to the alliance as a new way to capitalize on international markets.

Evgeniy Kravchenko, head of trade finance and correspondent banking at Sberbank, told CoinDesk:

"The next step for our blockchain team will be operations with foreign-based financial institutions and other banks, to do some international transactions, to see how we can increase the transparency and improve the trust between banks and corporate clients."

Already, Sberbank reported that it has completed at least two blockchain proofs-of-concept – one for a "smart" letter of credit and another for a letter of guarantee – working in cooperation with regulators, the minister of the economy, other banks and Russia's International Chamber of Commerce.

Kravchenko, however, said that its entrance into the EEA is part of a bid to go beyond the initial use cases its already tested.

"We'll be working with other banks on projects in other business areas, apart from trade finance: payments, lending, retail, everything that's possible," he added.

Critical mass

But Kravchenko was keen not to suggest that he's limiting the scope of Sberbank's work just alliance members.

Instead, he says the bank is interested in continuing to work with Russian banks who aren't members of the EEA on new and existing projects.

"The more players on the network, the better the network will be," said Kravchenko.

But Kravchenko is no blockchain maximalist. In fact, Kravchenko himself imagines a world where blockchain might not be exactly as necessary as some supporters think.

Using the Sibos conference as an example, he said it remains unknown if the technology could, say, replace or replicate the services offered by Swift, the interbank messaging service that also serves as conference host.

He concluded:

"I think blockchain may influence all the parties who are represented here, because all the banks are here, Swift is here. But the main message from my side is we need to do it together and jointly with other players."

Sberbank office image via Shutterstock

Disclosure

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.


Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.