Russian giant Alfa-bank moves into gold and equity-backed crypto assets

Alfa-bank, one of Russia’s largest banks, recently created a “digital financial asset” (DFA) backed by gold, equities and cash. This initiative is part of a growing trend among Russian financial institutions to enter the nascent digital asset sector.

Evergreen Portfolio: Alfa-bank’s disruptive new offering

Alfa-Bank is making a notable foray into crypto assets with “Evergreen Portfolio”. According to a recent releasethe russian bank has developed this innovative investment product allowing customers to invest simultaneously in four asset classes via tokens issued by Alfa-Bank.

This initiative comes after the bank obtained a licence to issue AFNs (digital financial assets) issued by the Russian Central Bank in 2022. Evergreen Portfolio will include equities, bonds, gold and cash.

To develop this offer, Alfa-Bank has joined forces with its subsidiary Alfa Capital Management Company and will base these digital financial assets on exchange-traded funds. The launch is planned on A-Token, the bank’s proprietary platform dedicated to digital assets.

This initiative is part of a wider movement in Russia, with other financial institutions such as Sberbank, which have already taken similar steps. Competition between banks to offer innovative services reflects an emerging trend towards the digitization of financial services.

According to Vladimir Voeikov, director of operations at Alfa-Bank, A-Token already dominates the Russian digital financial services market, capturing almost half of all transactions by 2023. With 86 tokens, it would account for 45% of this market.

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

Growing adoption of digital assets

The adoption of digital assets is accelerating in Russia, with Alfa-Bank as a pioneer. In January, the bank carried out its first transaction using hybrid digital rights.

End of 2023, she also worked with Sberbank first tests of parallel interbank AFN transactions, demonstrating the growing popularity of this new asset class.

With these advances, Alfa-Bank confirms its status as a leader in the emergence of crypto assets in Russia. The bank is paving the way for other financial institutions to follow suit. With initiatives such as these, the country is strategically positioned to become a hub of this new digital and decentralized financial era.