The project is offering high returns to buyers of the token, which was launched shortly after Bank of Russia allowed Sberbank to issue digital currencies.
A crypto project called Sbercoin.Finance has been promising investors up to 383,025.80% fixed annual percentage yield (APY) on the money they put into a token allegedly linked to Sberbank, Russia’s majority state-owned and largest banking institution.
“Sbercoin,” advertised as the “world’s first auto staking & USDT rewards token,” was listed on the decentralized exchange Pancakeswap last month and has since lost most of its value. According to Coinmarketcap, it’s currently trading at $0.00006674 per coin.
The SBER token was launched on March 17, the day the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) authorized Sberbank to issue digital financial assets, a term encompassing cryptocurrencies under current Russian law. The move came amid tightening Western sanctions over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
To substantiate their claimed association with Sberbank, the sbercoin issuers have linked an article on Twitter by the Business Insider covering the launch of the crypto along with the licensing of Sberbank by the CBR. However, the publication quoted a spokesperson for the bank who said it had no links with the token.
Representatives of the financial institution denied such connection in comments to Forklog as well. They clarified that the “official sbercoin” had not been released yet, the crypto news outlet added. In 2020, Sberbank CEO Herman Gref revealed the bank was joining forces with U.S. giant JPMorgan to develop its own cryptocurrency.
In January 2021, the Moscow-headquartered banking and financial services company filed an application with the CBR to launch a stablecoin, likely pegged to the Russian national fiat, the ruble. In February, a financial market source told Reuters that Sberbank was preparing to launch its sbercoin.
Then Russia invaded Ukraine and the West imposed unprecedented sanctions which targeted the Russian financial system. Sberbank is among the affected entities and the future of its cryptocurrency is unclear. JPMorgan announced in March it’s winding down business in Russia.