The Russia’s Largest and Oldest bank, Sberbank, in a recent development, has called for proposals to supply 4,917 ATMs that will efficiently support “blockchain operations” with a built-in graphics card.
Sberbank is purchasing the ATMs which has the ability to mine cryptocurrency to help people with contactless transaction during and after this pandemic period.
The co-creator of Ergo blockchain, Alexander Chepurnoy, who spoke about the use case of ATMs with graphics card said the card does not have the ability to mine Bitcoin effectively, however, he thinks the technology can mine altcoins. He further explained that aside fact that the Card can tackle mining of cryptocurrencies like Ravencoin, Ergo and Grin, he thinks it can also process some cryptographic algorithms
Sberbank being the pioneer bank in Russia is also regarded as the largest bank in the country as it holds about 44% of all individual deposits in the country. The bank operates in 14,200 branches across Russia and owns 77,000 ATMs spread across the country.
As reported by Cointelegraph, the highest bid for the supply proposal is $22,066.65 per ATM, which sums up to $108,501,718.05. However, a technical requirement that must be met by the to-be supplier of the ATMs is that they must be equipped with a graphic card.
The blockchain-powered contactless ATMs would support other payment technology like Huawei Pay, Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, Mir Pay and Google Pay. To fight against fraud, the ATMs have in-built recognition functionality.
This development has however raised a number of big questions from cryptocurrency investors and traders. Observers begin to wonder why a graphics card capable of handling some blockchain operations will be included in a bank ATM. Also there has been speculation about Sberbank planning to issue its own cryptocurrency.
Nonetheless, the news shows the enthusiasms Russian state who owns the bank’s asset has towards blockchain technology. Therefore, this put Sberbank at the forefront in the country in terms of blockchain technology, and there is high possibility that Sberbank would be the first to get involved if Russia plans to launch a Central bank digital currency (CBDC).