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Bank of Russia Awards First-Ever Crypto License to Atomyze

Atomyze is the first blockchain platform to receive a license to trade digital assets in Russia. The news of Atomyze’s license approval comes exactly a year after the platform applied alongside several other institutions.

The license transforms Atomyze into the first officially registered fintech firm with the Bank of Russia. This also implies that the blockchain platform will legally issue tokens while offering digital wallet services to Russian customers.

Atomyze employs decentralized technology to tokenize tangible assets. In this case, the platform sells tokenized Nickel from Russian smelting giant, Nornickel. Its clients include retail investors willing to buy or manage the precious metal.

One of Atomyze and Nornickel’s largest shareholders is Interros Group which Vladimir Potanin owns. Potanin is the second-richest country and has called for crypto adoption and traction in Russia in recent times.

Template for Future Registrations

Despite taking this long, the permit represents a significant shift in Russia’s dealings with cryptocurrency. In 2020, Russia’s central bank initially moved to ban crypto and crypto-related institutions operating in the country. However, key authorities in the government, including President Vladimir Putin, opposed the move.  Putin insisted that Russia maintained a competitive advantage in Bitcoin mining and should embrace it rather than “kill technological innovation.” Additionally, key ministers suggested Russia stood to gain billions in taxes should crypto be integrated into the country’s financial system.

Following discussions, instead of an outright ban, the government finally agreed on a regulated crypto industry. However, the Bank of Russia would oversee its activity. Therefore, in January 2021, Sber Bank, Atomyze, and other firms filed applications for permits to issue tokens in Russia.

On Thursday, February 4th, 2022, the central bank announced that Atomyze was now approved to conduct operations in Russia. The Bank of Russia explained the reasons for the approval in a statement. For instance, it state that the functions of Atomyze and other future firms could develop the country’s digital finance industry. Also, they could help improve taxation.

In order to further develop the DFA (digital financial assets),” reads the Central Bank’s official statement, “the Bank of Russia has formulated proposals for improving the regulation of such assets and their taxation, which will increase the attractiveness and applicability of digital financial instruments.”

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Following the Central Bank’s statement, Interros group has published a press release describing Atomyze’s approval as a nod towards “Russia’s digital equality”. Moreover, the group is confident Atomyze’s registration will serve as a template for future blessings. Lastly, it should encourage foreign investment into the country.

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