Russian central bank registers nation’s first digital asset manager



The Bank of Russia has registered tokenization service Atomyze as the country’s first digital asset management company, the central bank officially announced Thursday.

According to the announcement, the Bank of Russia has formally deemed the rules of the company’s information system and the platform’s technical implementation as being compliant with the Russian law.

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The registration enables Atomyze to provide its clients with an opportunity to issue digital financial assets, or DFA, on its platform as well as obtain “new types of assets in the tokenized form.” The organization will be also enabled to “independently carry out exchange operations within its platform” as the rules of DFA exchange are “built into the information system rules.”

“In order to further develop the DFA, the Bank of Russia has formulated proposals for improving the regulation of such assets and their taxation, which will increase the attractiveness and applicability of digital financial instruments. In the near future, these proposals will be submitted for discussion in the form of a regulatory consultation report,” the central bank noted.

According to Atomyze’s website, it is a Russia-based blockchain firm focused on “digitization of various assets and processes though distributed ledger technologies including, but not limited to DFA.”

In June 2021, Atomyze secured funding from Russian conglomerate and investment firm Interros, co-founded by local billionaire entrepreneur Vladimir Potanin. The Russian oligarch is known as Russia’s second-richest person with a net worth of $28.8 billion. He made a fortune by acquiring a stake in the nickel and palladium mining and smelting company Norilsk Nickel during Russia’s privatization in 1995.

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According to a separate announcement by Interros, the Global Palladium Fund was one of the first issuers on the Atomyze global platform. The fund specifically launched digital exchange-traded commodities backed by assets of Norilsk Nickel on six European stock exchanges, including those in London and Frankfurt.

“Atomyze became the first tokenization platform in Russia to receive a regulatory approval,” Interros wrote, adding that its ecosystem includes tokenization platforms not only in Russia, but also in other jurisdictions, such as, in the United and Switzerland. The announcement also states the following:

“This will ensure Russia’s “digital equality” in the global digital economy, make it easier for Russian companies to enter world markets, and make it possible to attract more foreign capital to Russia.”

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As previously reported, the Bank of Russia has been strongly opposing local companies to start offering digital currency-related services including crypto investment. Major local private bank Tinkoff acquired a foreign crypto-related firm in early January after the Bank of Russia reportedly stopped the firm from launching its own suite of related services last year.

In late 2021, Bank of Russia deputy governor Vladimir Chistyukhin announced the bank’s intention to allow Russians to invest in crypto only through foreign crypto infrastructure.