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Alfa-bank: Russian Financial Behemoth Launches Digital Asset Offerings

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Alfa-bank: Russian Financial Behemoth Launches Digital Asset Offerings

Alfa-bank, one of Russia’s biggest financial institutions, has created a “digital financial asset” (DFA) backed by gold, stocks, and cash.

Per an Alfa-bank press release published on February 28, the bank said its new “tool” lets customers “invest in four asset classes at once” using bank-issued tokens.

Alfa-bank Launches DFAs – More Russian Banks to Follow?

The firm said it had teamed up with its Alfa Capital Management Company subsidiary to “create a DFA based on exchange-traded mutual funds.”

The bank said that it would launch its offering, named the Evergreen Portfolio, on its A-Token platform.

Alfa-bank launched A-Token in 2023 after obtaining a DFA issuance permit from the Central Bank in 2022.

The move is significant for Russia’s nascent DFA industry: Alfa is Russia’s largest private bank, and the launch follows hot on the heels of similar operations from the state-owned Sberbank.

In early February, Sberbank launched a blockchain-powered “digital assets” platform for its retail customers. Interestingly, the platform contains an in-development section labeled “NFT.”

This suggests that Russian banks may seek to launch non-fungible token offerings in the near future.

Other Russian firms currently holding DFA issuance permits include a major metal mining firm and a locomotives producer.

The new Alfa-bank offering comprises “four asset classes,” namely stocks, bonds, gold, and cash.

Alfa-bank: Russian Financial Behemoth Launches Digital Asset OfferingsAn Alfa-bank advertisement on a display screen in Moscow. (Source: Reklamnie Roliki Bankov/YouTube)

Russia Eyes DFA Expansion

Alfa officials say that their platform has already become a domestic market leader. Vladimir Voeikov, the head of Large and Medium-sized Business Operations at Alfa-bank claimed:

“Almost half of the volume of Russian transactions conducted with digital financial services in 2023 took place on the A-Token platform.”

Alfa’s DFA portfolio, Voeikov claimed, now comprises 86 digital tokens, and accounts for 45% of the domestic market.

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The company claimed a breakthrough in January this year, when it announced the completion of the first Russian transaction of gold using “hybrid digital rights.”

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Late 2023 also saw Alfa and Sberbank conduct the country’s first pilot inter-bank “parallel DFA transactions.”