Russian state-owned bank, Sberbank is expanding the use of touchless blockchain-based ATMs in the country. The ATM machines use blockchain technology for security measures and the touchless functionality aims to curb the spread of highly communicable coronavirus pandemic in Russia.
The COVID-19 pandemic seems to be paving the way to a contact-free future lifestyle. From touchless payments, touchless travel, touchless toilet, and the latest, touchless ATMs. Touchless interactive technology has been slowly gaining grip, but the pandemic seems to be accelerating their adoption.
Contact-free ATMs adoption driven by Russian state-owned bank
Sberbank paid a hefty $108.5 million to purchase the blockchain-based contact-free ATMs in its efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country. Interestingly, the ATM machines can be linked with popular mobile payment platforms such as; Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Huawei Pay, and the Russian Central Bank’s Mir Pay.
Moreover, the touchless blockchain-based ATMs can be operated through the user’s mobile device, instead of manually operating the machine which poses a serious health risk in today’s world. Each ATM machine has the capacity to hold up to 14,500 treasury notes. They are equipped with a pattern recognition system and blockchain applications to ensure maximum security.
Although Sberbank is a big advocate of blockchain, it is not yet clear how the new ATMs’ use the technology. Back in 2018, Sberbank established a blockchain lab for innovation and tests the application of the technology in various operations. For example, Sberbank became the first Russian financial institution; to apply for a patent for a system that converts Repo to smart contracts.
Russia looking to criminalize cryptocurrencies
Given that Sberbank is a state-owned bank, it shows that the Russian government wants to stay up to date with the latest technology and trends such as blockchain. In contrast, Russia seems not happy with the use of digital currencies such as Bitcoin in the country.
According to a report by a local news agency, RBK, the Russian crypto bill which has been stalling for more than two years, might go through some modification to ban the use and issuance of digital currencies within Russia’s borders. The draft bill proposes a fine of up to $7,000 and a jail term of up to seven years.