Russia's largest bank, Sberbank, will release a decentralized finance (DeFi) platform by May, according to a report by Russian news agency Interfax.
The platform will initially be based on the Ethereum network, with users being able to access it using the MetaMask wallet extension. DeFi is a form of borrowing and lending that uses smart contracts and remove the need for intermediaries.
Konstantin Klimenko, product director of Sberbank's blockchain laboratory, said the bank's DeFi network is running in a closed beta, which will turn into open testing on March. 1.
Klimenko, who was speaking before the Economic Congress on Friday, added that DeFi can displace traditional banking services in the future.
This is not Sberbank's first foray into crypto. In March 2022 it received a license from Russia's central bank to issue and exchange digital assets and a few months before that it launched Russia's first blockchain exchange-traded fund (ETF).
Sberbank has more than 110 million customers in additional to one million corporate clients.