Russia's biggest and oldest bank Sberbank is spending more than $100 million on 5,000 blockchain-enabled ATMs capable of mining cryptocurrency.
May 28 2020 | AtoZ Markets – Sberbank, Russia’s oldest and largest bank, has called for tenders to provide 4,917 ATMs with a built-in graphic card capable of supporting “blockchain operations.”
Sberbank holds almost 44% of all personal deposits in the country and also operates 14,200 branches and 77,000 ATMs across the country. The state is its largest shareholder, and its Chairman and CEO, Herman Gref, is Russia’s former minister of Economics and Trade. He is known to be a big advocate of new technology and innovation, including blockchain.
Sberbank bids for world’s first blockchain ATMs
The maximum bid for the tender is $108,501,718.05, which equates to $22,066.65 per ATM. Furthermore, one of the technical requirements for these blockchain-based ATMs is that they should come equipped with a graphic card.
According to the report, the graphic card should come with the support for Nvidia Cuda for OS for image recognition and possible blockchain operability.
Bitcoin ATMs are not a novelty. However, regular bank ATMs with blockchain technology are unheard of. It is being questioned by some that why does a bank ATM need a graphic card that is capable of handling some blockchain operations?
Lawmakers seek to criminalize the use of crypto in Russia
The Ministry of Economic Development in Russia has moved several bills in the State of Duma. These bills include an updated draft for digital financial assets. The lawmakers have proposed a bill that seeks to criminalize the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the country.
The proposed laws primarily touch the administrative and criminal liability for violation of rules involved in the cryptocurrency transactions. Currently, there is no legal definition of cryptocurrencies in Russia. Moreover, there are no specific laws that describe regulations around the crypto industry.
If passed as laws, any individual or organization would be banned from using cryptocurrencies in the country. Earlier, Russia's central bank had noted that they would support any law that seeks to prohibit the use of crypto in the country.
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