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Alfa-bank: Russian Financial Behemoth Launches Digital Asset Offerings

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read
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.

An Alfa-bank advertisement on a display screen in Moscow.
An 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.

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.”

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