Russia has officially completed its first government-level Blockchain implementation.
The Russian state-run bank Sberbank announced today that it is partnering with Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) to implement document transfer and storage via Blockchain.
According to local sources, the move represents the first case of direct government implementation of Blockchain technology.
Andrey Tsarikovskiy, the statе secretary and deputy head of FAS, stated in the Sberbank press release: “Our country is opening up new possibilities for the economy through the use of advanced knowledge and technology. Making the system launch a reality means we are not only one of the first actual users of Blockchain for government in the world, but also [are pioneering its use] as a practical tool for further growth.”
The Russian government has shown consistent interest in advancing Blockchain technology development in the country for several years. In August the state-owned bank VEB signed an agreement with the Ethereum Foundation to develop Blockchain education programs in the country.
Sberbank also recently become the first Russian bank to carry out a payment transaction using the blockchain technology, which allows transfers within a few seconds.
The transaction was conducted on the IBM Blockchain platform based on HyperLedger Fabric. According to Sberbank, its own IT infrastructure was used during the procedure. MegaFon, MegaLabs, Alfa-Bank, and IBM have also participated in the transaction.
“The blockchain solution created by Sberbank has allowed us to make the first pilot payment transaction – using IBM Blockchain technology – in the history of the Russian banking industry,” said Sberbank CIB Managing Director Stella Kudachkina.
She added that “the advantage of using this technology when performing settlements is the high speed at which transfers are made: after the money is sent the transaction is recorded on the receiver’s account almost instantly, in real time, unlike the traditional system that is used to make transfers.”
In contrast, the government’s official position on cryptocurrency use for regular citizens remains relatively strict.