Capital markets News

Russia’s Expobank tokenizes diamonds


Expobank is to tokenize diamonds under Russia’s digital financial asset (DFA) regime. While many DFAs tokenize precious metals, this is the first linked to diamonds. In 2021 Russia introduced DFA legislation allowing the tokenization of traditional assets and other real world assets (RWA), but excludes cryptocurrency.

One of the benefits of tokenization is fractionalization. In the Expobank case, it is tokenizing specific diamonds. The first is a three carat one currently valued at 9 million rubles ($97,500). It’s splitting it into 5,000 units, so each token is worth less than $20, according to news outlet RB. On redemption in November 2026, the repayment amount depends on diamond values using the Alrosa cost calculator. This particular investment is only available to qualified investors. 

Until recently, most DFAs restricted access. However, as the market matures the central bank is becoming more flexible. Earlier this year Sberbank opened its DFA platform to retail investors.

Growth in Digital Financial Assets

Meanwhile, multiple reports show the growth in the digital financial asset market. Kommersant says 140 DFA issues worth 42 billion rubles ($450 million) have been announced so far, although not all have been issued.

News agency TASS disclosed a few details from an Analytical Credit Rating Agency (ACRA) report. It said 80 DFAs were issued during the third quarter of 2023, mostly with short term maturities. So far, 90% of placements are via three of the ten authorized platforms belonging to AtomyzeSber and Alfa Bank.

Beyond the ten issuance platforms, the central bank issued the Moscow Exchange  with the first license for a DFA secondary market.

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