Russian banks have been increasingly moving into the digital asset market despite the Bank of Russia’s hostility toward crypto.
TCS Group, the owner of the major private Russian bank Tinkoff, is gaining exposure to digital assets.
The firm has invested in Swiss digital asset service provider Aximetria, which is set to become the company’s first major crypto-related outfit, local news agency The Bell reported Wednesday.
Citing data from Aximetria, the report suggests that TCS purchased 4,449 Aximetria shares worth 100 Swiss francs ($108) per share. Given that Aximetria’s total share capital was about 535,000 francs ($578,000), the publication reported TCS’ stake to be around 83.2%.
A spokesperson for Tinkoff confirmed the news to Cointelegraph, stating that Aximetria will be “part of the international expansion of Tinkoff Group in compliance with all the requirements of the jurisdictions of international presence.”
The representative emphasized that Aximetria is “not a crypto exchange” but rather a “financial service in the digital asset industry.”
At the time of writing, Aximetria’s main page includes details on the firm being part of TCS. Aximetria lets users open a “Swiss crypto account” with free deposits and withdrawals in euros or U.S. dollars. The platform says it targets clients worldwide.
Amid skyrocketing demand for crypto investments, Tinkoff has been struggling to offer crypto investment services in Russia as the Bank of Russia reportedly stopped the company from launching its own suite of related services. This led to a situation where Russia has no single legal company that is based in the country and offers crypto investment.
Despite the ongoing harsh stance of local regulators, Russia’s largest bank, Sber, launched a crypto exchange-traded fund in December, tracking major crypto investment firms and exchanges like Coinbase and Galaxy Digital. Formerly known as Sberbank, the state-backed firm was previously planning to launch a crypto exchange business under its Sberbank Switzerland subsidiary back in 2018.