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Thursday, February 2, 2023

Russia’s Largest Digital Asset Deal Denominated in Chinese Yuan

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A licensed firm has finalized Russia’s first deal with digital financial assets denominated in foreign fiat.

The transaction involved the issuing of DFAs worth 58 million Chinese yuan (approx. 516 million rubles or $8.26 million) secured by commercial debt.

It took place on a platform developed by Lighthouse, which was approved by the Bank of Russia in March as one of the “information systems operators” allowed to manage digital financial assets. Russia’s largest bank, Sber, and the tokenization service Atomyze were also registered as such.

While Russian authorities have been working to adopt a more comprehensive legal framework for all digital assets, including cryptocurrencies, the law “On Digital Financial Assets,” which was enforced in January of 2021, regulates some transactions with coins or tokens that have an issuer.

Officials in Moscow now want to legalize crypto payments in cross-border settlements and expand the use of the ruble and the national currencies of partners like China in foreign trade.

The main reason is to circumvent restrictions imposed by the West over the war in Ukraine and reduce Russia’s dependence on the U.S. dollar and the euro.

Quoted by Russian crypto news outlet RBC Crypto, Lighthouse pointed out that the first DFA operation involving foreign currency has also become the largest placement of this kind in the country’s market for digital financial assets.

The maturity of the tokens issued is 29 days and the interest rate is 4%, the fintech company detailed, highlighting the advantages of DFAs over short-term lending in rubles, which comes at a 9 – 10% annual rate. It also noted that DFAs reduce the risks for issuers of losses from currency fluctuations.

Lighthouse General Director Denis Iordanidi believes that the new financial instrument will provide an opportunity to make cheap short-term investments without competing with the traditional bond market that offers long-term financial investments.

According to a survey conducted in November, 37% of Russian companies are ready to enter the DFA market as issuers, the report added.

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