VTB Factoring, a subsidiary of the Russian state bank, announced the first major deal with digital financial assets. As part of the deal, the banking subsidiary acquired a token pool of debt from engineering firm Metrowagonmash, issued through fintech platform Lighthouse.
On Wednesday, June 29, VTB reported on the deal on its webpage, saying it was the first issuance and placement of cash-backed digital financial assets in the Russian Federation. In the announcement, the bank likens it to issuing short-term commercial bonds.
Anton Musatov, CEO of VTB Factoring, highlighted the potential of the new technology for Russian companies’ access to funds needed for operational activities:
“Apart from the standard factoring procedure, [here] a client should not necessarily sign a service contract to sell their debt pool. The issuer’s desire to symbolize it and the factoring bank’s decision to acquire it.
In June 2022, Russia’s largest bank Sber announced its first operation with digital financial assets (DFA) which will take place in mid-July, after finally obtaining a license from the country’s central bank.
While the current DFA legislation entered into force in 2020, the head of the Financial Markets Committee of the lower house of the Russian parliament introduced a bill banning the use of the DFA as a “currency substitute” in June 2022 .
Related: Russia To Include Crypto In Its Tax Code: Here’s What The Rules Might Look Like
In February 2022, VTB conducted the first successful test of the operation with “digital rubles”, a central bank digital currency (CBDC) project of the Bank of Russia. Later, the bank announced its first purchase of DFA in exchange for the digital ruble. As of press time, there is no information on whether the aforementioned deal was made through CBDC.