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Central Bank of Russia Anticipates Surge in Digital Financial Instruments (DFIs) as Alternative Financing Gains Traction

Transparency and Ease of Use Drive Adoption of Innovative Digital Assets in Russia's Financial Landscape

Mon, 22 May 2023, 07:08 am UTC

Russia's leading monetary authority, the Central Bank of Russia (CBR), anticipates a substantial surge in the creation of digital financial instruments (DFIs) across the country. This increase is attributed to the transparency and ease of use offered by these alternative financial solutions.

As reported by RBC's cryptocurrency division, a top business news source, the bank also predicts the emergence of innovative digital assets. Unlike any existing on the conventional financial landscape, these new assets will address distinct business needs.

The "On Digital Financial Assets" legislation established DFIs as a legal concept. Enacted in January 2021, this regulation is the sole existing law that somewhat pertains to crypto-assets with an issuer. However, it does not encompass decentralized cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, which remain unregulated in Russia.

These digital tokens managed and monitored by an approved operator on a blockchain platform typically represent monetary rights. The CBR has granted authorization to several operators, such as tokenization service Atomyze, fintech company Lighthouse, state-owned Sberbank, and private banking powerhouse Alfa-Bank, as well as the recently licensed Masterchain.

In 2022, the first three registered platforms issued 19 DFIs on behalf of 11 corporations from various industries, according to the report. Issuers include major industrial enterprises, financial institutions, banks, construction firms, and other organizations.

With unprecedented Western sanctions severely restricting their access to global financing, Russian businesses have been exploring alternative methods to fund their operations. A pioneering DFI transaction, denominated in Chinese yuan, was announced in early December.

This particular agreement, groundbreaking in its scale at the time, involved DFIs backed by commercial debt totaling 58 million yuan or around $8 million. In April of this year, digital financial assets amounting to 1 billion rubles, equating to roughly $13 million, were allocated across seven placements.

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