A Russian bank is reported to have issued the country’s first-ever crypto-back personal loan. According to a local news report on August 19, the loan, which was backed by Waves tokens, was issued earlier this week by a Russian commercial bank Expobank, to a businessman Mikhail Uspensky. The news was also confirmed by Waves founder and CEO Sasha Ivanov in a tweet.
The amount involved in the transaction was not disclosed. However, the Head of the Legal Department of Expobank said it is “a precedent in nature for both the legal and the banking community”. The businessman who received the loan reportedly said that he is committed to keep using the Waves tokens and has no plans to sell them. According to him, DeFi, which offers crypto holders the opportunity to pledge their assets in exchange for cash, is difficult to be done with Waves tokens.
Meanwhile, the report noted that some legal experts in the country are confident that such a transaction can potentially become recognized under Russian law. They however acknowledge that the legal framework for cryptocurrencies in Russia is still in its infancy.
Alexander Zhuravlev, managing partner of EDR, a law firm which accompanied the transaction, said the principal moment for the transaction was the most correct legal qualification of the Waves tokens. According to him, they can be classified as “other property” under Article 128 of the Civil Code of Russian Law.Yuri Brisov, the founder of LFCS, a legal team which also accompanied the transaction, acknowledged that Waves tokens can be absolutely legally used in Russia. He noted that there are no restrictions on the circulation of non-payment tokens in Russia. However, Kirill Nikitin, senior lawyer at Vegas Lex argued that such a deal, despite its obviously innovative nature, is highly likely to be legally structured under Russian law.