2 Feb 2023 20:30

CBR adds Alfa-Bank to list of information system operators for issue of DFA

MOSCOW. Feb 2 (Interfax) - The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) has added Alfa-Bank to the register of operators of information systems via which digital financial assets (DFA) are issued, according to the regulator's website.

The bank's platform for working with digital financial assets is called A-Token. Two types of DFA will be issued via A-Token: equivalents of traditional financial instruments in the form of monetary claims and fundamentally new investment instruments. For example, tokenization of physical assets, including precious metals. The pilot issue is planned for the end of February, the bank said in a statement.

The platform is based on the principle of secure transactions - an investor advances funds against it. If the issue gathers the minimum required number of applications, the funds will be credited to the issuer, and if not - will be returned to investors. In the future the bank plans to offer a functionality for market issuers, as well as an option when the issuer is the bank itself. Alfa Bank clients will be able to access the platform directly in the app, which will allow transactions to be made instantly.

"Thanks to the bank's expertise, we will not only work with professional investors and companies, but also popularize digital assets among private clients in retail and among existing investor clients," Alfa-Bank's Innovation Director Denis Dodon was cited as saying in the statement.

Alfa Bank has become the fourth entity in the register of information system operators to issue DFAs. Three other companies are currently on it: blockchain platform Atomyze (Interros, part of a consortium of its investors), a Sberbank platform and fintech company Lighthouse, which is working with Transmashholding to develop a digital financial ecosystem.

In September 2022, Kirill Pronin, Director of the Central Bank's Department of Financial Technologies, said that the regulator expects to increase the number of operators of information systems via which DFAs are issued. "We now have three operators [information systems to issue CFA] in the market, a number of organizations have submitted documents to the CBR in order to obtain this status. I hope that by the end of the year we will increase the number of participants and operators in the digital assets market," Pronin said.

In December 2022, the Moscow Exchange submitted an application for inclusion in the register of operators of information systems and DFA operators, the exchange's director of business development Kirill Pestov said earlier.