Russian Smelting Giant Begins Testing Digital Trading Platform

Russian mining and smelting giant Nornickel has commenced testing its digital platform for metals trading.

As Bloomberg reported on Dec. 5, Nornickel began trialing its platform for digital metal tokens in collaboration with physical commodities trading group Trafigura Group Ltd., metals finance and logistics firm Traxys SA and materials technology and recycling group Umicore SA. Specifically, the platform is designed to enable clients to purchase digital tokens backed by metals and then trade them for physical supplies.

Commenting on the product rollout, Nornickel CEO Vladimir Potanin said that the company is “imply packing existing business links into a new and modern form.” Nornickel purportedly intends to raise the share its metals sales conducted using tokens to 20% within the next several years.

Nornickel’s digital platform rollout seems to have progressed according to schedule. Vice-president of Nornickel Andrey Bugrov previously said that the company expected to bring the product to the market by the end of 2019, as well as begin trading the tokens.

Large factories built in the Soviet era primarily in cold climate locations are slowly drawing the attention of industry enthusiasts. The largest data center in the former Soviet Union, BitRiver, opened about a year ago in the Siberian city of Bratsk. Now, most of its clients use the facility to mine Bitcoin (BTC).

The data center allows cryptocurrency miners to take advantage of cheap energy in what used to be the world’s largest aluminum smelter.

Last year, Deputy Governor of the Leningrad Region, Dmitry Yalo, announced the development of a new mining facility in the region, which was set to be built on the site of a former Soviet fertilizer laboratory.

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