Russian authorities are looking into the possibility of registering real estate and housing projects on a blockchain.
According to a regional report, the Russian Ministry of Communications is considering the use of blockchain technology for agencies including the Federal Registration Service, a federal executive body that records registration of rights to real estate and all related transactions.
Speaking to reporters, Nikolai Nikiforov – head of the Ministry of Communications of the Russian Federation stated:
[W]e are considering the use of blockchain in the work of such agencies as the Federal Registration Service. Automatic real estate transactions, in particular, are considered as a pilot project for the use of blockchain in transactions related to equity construction and joint housing development.
A similar effort is already taking shape in Japan, where the government is looking to consolidate all real estate data into one viewable data record on a blockchain.
On a state level, The Russian government is notably looking at regulating blockchain technology by 2019. “One of the breakthrough technologies is blockchain,” stated Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in a meeting with government vice-premiers this year. “This tool is already used by large banks, corporations and even some countries,” the former Russian president stated.
In October 2016, the Bank of Russia, the country’s central bank, developed a blockchain prototype dubbed ‘Masterchain’ for the financial market. The platform, based on an Ethereum blockchain, was devised a SWIFT-like financial messaging platform for banks in the Russian financial system.
Notably, Russia is also considering the use of blockchain technology for the country’s national payment system.
Earlier this year, the chief executive of Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, claimed commercial applications of blockchain technology are to be expected by 2019.
The Russian state’s embrace of blockchain technology coincides with a remarkable pivot in its stance against digital currencies like bitcoin. In April, Russia’s deputy finance minister – who notably led the charge to criminalize the adoption and/or mining of digital currencies over several years – revealed the government was looking into recognizing and regulating bitcoin in 2018.
More recently, the Bank of Russia has joined a number of other central banking counterparts around the world to develop its own national digital currency, issued by the authority.
Russian real estate fair from Shutterstock.