Russia's largest bank is investing $ 100 million in the purchase of 5,000 digital currency ATMs. These devices are also capable of extracting digital currencies.
According to Kevin Telegraph, Russia's largest bank, Sberbank, has invited financial services companies to bid to buy 4,917 ATMs with built-in graphics cards to support "China Blockchain-based operations."
Two experts say that the most important use of graphics cards, optimized by China Blockchain, is to extract digital currencies.
Sberbank is Russia's oldest and largest bank, holding 44% of deposits across Russia. The bank has 14,200 branches and 77,000 ATMs across the country. The government is the bank's largest shareholder, and its chairman and CEO is Herman Gref, a former Russian economy and trade minister. The bank is one of the largest proponents of new technologies, including the China Bloc.
The maximum bid for this tender is $ 108,501,718.05, which is $ 22,066.65 for each ATM. One of the technical requirements for these ATMs is that they must be equipped with a graphics card. The descriptions related to these devices read:
Supported graphics card for Nvidia Cuda as the operating system for image recognition and possible blockchain performance
Bitcoin ATMs are not new. However, it is strange that the usual ATMs of banks are equipped with Chinese blockchain technology. The important question is: Why does a bank ATM need a graphics card that can handle some blockchain-based operations? There are several possibilities.
The most important use of these devices is the extraction of digital currencies. Is Sberbank offering its digital currency, or will the Russian government use the bank's extensive network to distribute digital rubles?
There is another explanation that is not as interesting as the first explanation. There may be only an error in the description of the tender document, and the graphics card is only needed to detect the image. Since these ATMs also have a biometric identification option, this explanation may seem logical.
Matvey Voytov is marketing director at Waves Enterprise, a Chinese-based blockchain platform that has done several other innovative projects with Russian companies and the Russian government. In an interview, Vitov said China's blockchain technology could be used to record user transactions in ATMs.
According to him, there is no other blockchain-based use other than mining for graphics cards. However, he thinks that the supply of the national digital currency or the digital currency of Sberbank itself is not possible and he believes that a mistake has been made in the tender document. At the same time, he pointed to the Russian Tax Agency, which recently set up a platform based on the Chinese blockchain to expedite the provision of loans to small businesses.
Alexander Chepurnoy, co-founder of the Ergo China Blockchain Platform, also spoke out about the reason for the blockchain-based graphics cards to do nothing but extract. He explained:
Aside from mining, these cards may probably be used to process some encryption algorithms, but I don't know why these cards should be used in ATMs.
He said the card could be used effectively to extract bitcoins, but could also be used to extract tools such as Ergo, Grin, or Ravencoin.
If Russia wants to launch a national digital currency, the Sberbank is likely to be the first to be notified. There is no better way to distribute this digital currency than to use an extensive banking network that has access to every corner of this vast country. Perhaps these new ATMs could become part of a broader mining network that supports the new national digital currency.
Russian lawmakers recently introduced a bill that would severely penalize the illegal circulation of digital assets. One logical reason for this could be to pave the way for a national digital currency. Russia, like China, considers the supply of national digital currency more urgent than any other Western country. The most important reason for this urgency is the tendency to circumvent the US-dominated international financial system. Sberbank itself is one of the institutions that has been sanctioned by Western countries.