Russian Banking Association Launches ‘Digital Assets Council’

Tim Alper

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Russian Banking Association Launches ‘Digital Assets Council’

Russia’s biggest securities and banking association has launched a “council” for the self-regulation of “digital assets.”

Per RBC and an official National Association of Stock Market Participants (NAUFOR) announcement, the NAUFOR’s Board of Directors created the council on January 30.

NAUFOR is a self-regulatory organization that comprises 647 banks and licensed securities providers.

Financial heavyweights such as the megabanks Sberbank and VTB are key members, as are the likes of Ingosstrakh-Investments Asset Management.

RBC noted that “most” Russian “information system operators” that “issue digital assets” are either “members of NAUFOR or are associated with” the body.

NAUFOR said its new Council on Digital Assets will “discuss issues of regulation.” The council will also “discuss the practice of issuing and circulating digital assets.”

The council will also provide a forum for “interaction” between digital assets providers and securities market players. NAUFOR’s Chairman Alexey Timofeev said:

“The [domestic] digital asset market is gradually developing. It requires regulatory decisions that contribute to its development as it becomes part of the financial market.”

NAUFOR appointed its First Vice President, Ekaterina Andreeva, as the council’s chair. Andreeva said the council would welcome “proposals” from companies wishing to work with it.

Ekaterina Andreeva, the head of the National Association of Stock Market Participants (NAUFOR)’s new Council on Digital Assets, speaking in 2021.
Ekaterina Andreeva, the head of the National Association of Stock Market Participants (NAUFOR)’s new Council on Digital Assets. (Source: NAUFOR/Facebook/Screenshot)

Russian ‘Digital Asset’ Market Ready for Takeoff, Lawmakers Claim

The terms “digital assets” and “digital financial assets” (DFAs) are often a source of confusion in Russia.

They are often used to refer to digitized commodities. But the terms can also refer to everything from cryptoassets like Bitcoin to CBDCs.

In more recent times, officials have used the terms to refer to NFTs and digital securities.

Moscow lawmakers have claimed that the domestic DFA market is primed for an influx of money.

Some have urged the Kremlin and the Central Bank to scrap buying caps for foreigners who want to buy Russian digital assets and CBDC coins.

Nornikel, a major metals mining firm, first gained permission to offer DFA offerings in 2020. Few other companies have yet followed suit.

However, earlier this month, the company announced that it would use its minetoken coin to pay employee dividends.

💡❌ Russian Crypto Miners Blamed for Siberia Power Outages

Here’s a summary 👇

— (@cryptonews) January 26, 2024

The head of the State Duma’s Committee on the Financial Markets Anatoly Aksakov said last year:

“In my opinion, Bitcoin […] has no future. I would instead invest in the Russian digital financial assets that are starting to appear on the market.”

Aksakov added that he expected “a serious intensification of the issuance of digital financial assets backed by the ruble” in the near future.

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