State-owned Russian bank Gazprombank (GPB) plans to trial cryptocurrency transactions through its Swiss subsidiary later this year, Gazprombank Deputy Chairman Aleksandr Sobol told Russian media.

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According to Aleksandr Sobol, the deputy chairman of Gazprombank, Russia’s third largest-bank decided to try out cryptocurrency transactions on grounds of recent demand from several large private clients.

Gazprombank will run a pilot program through its Swiss subsidiary, where the legislation is more favorable for the cryptocurrency sector, Sobol said.

“Some kind of pilot – of course, yes. It will not be on a grand scale, but for ourselves,” Sobol told Vedomosti. “There is demand from our large private clients for such services. Therefore, we are now looking at how we can arrange this service for them.”

The trial’s format is not yet set in stone, Sobol added. “We will try to assess the situation actively,” the Gazprombank Deputy Chairman said.

Cryptocurrency transactions are not yet regulated in Russia. However, Russian President Vladimir Putin has recently spoken in favor of legalizing cryptocurrency trading in the country.

“If we regulate, but not efficiently enough, then the government will be responsible for the difficult situations that people can get into,” Putin was quoted by RT. “Right now it is the responsibility of the person himself and the government can only say ‘you can do this but you can’t do that,’ and if it’s still not clear then there will be some problems that need to be solved.”

Putin has reportedly ordered officials to speed up the development of the Kremlin-backed CryptoRuble, a cryptocurrency that is expected to help Russia avoid international sanctions and carry out “sensitive activity on behalf of the state”.

The State Duma is expected to adopt a law “On Digital Financial Assets” in the near future. The law will set out rules and restrictions for the cryptocurrency market in Russia.

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