Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, has launched its own cryptocurrency after a host of restrictions were imposed on the country, cutting it off from most of its foreign currency reserves and the global financial system.
In early March, Sberbank shares were halted in London after the price plummeted 95 percent.
Two weeks later, on March 17, the central bank of Russia allowed Sberbank to issue its own cryptocurrency, sbercoin.
Russia has stated “unfriendly countries” will pay in rubles for its energy.
The recently implemented sanctions has crashed the ruble, causing Moscow to usher in capital controls, causing a black market in dollars and euros to develop.
Sberbank has been experimenting with blockchain technology since 2020.
In September, Sberbank’s deputy chairman stated the firm hoped to register its blockchain plans with the Central Bank of Russia but hasn’t spoken since about its crypto plans.
Since the invasion of Ukraine, ruble-to-crypto volume has fallen after spiking over 900 percent to above $70 million in five days, its highest level since May 2021 according to Chainalysis research.