On Wednesday, the chairman of the Russian government-owned Vnesheconombank (VEB) announced they are planning to implement the blockchain tech regarding project management, which they will start to test this fall.
This is not the first time that a Russian bank decides to make use of the blockchain technology in the financial sector. In June, last year, the Bank of Russia announced the development of a technical prototype called 'Masterchain'. The prototype uses blockchain along with Ethereum for messaging between banks in the Russian financial system.
In addition, in February, Herman Gref, the CEO of Sberbank (Russia's largest bank), stated that blockchain technology will be implemented in two - two and a half years to commercial applications, meaning blockchain could go commercial by the end of 2019. An announcement of Russia's Ministry of Communications and Mass Media (Minkomsvyaz) in May confirmed Gref's statement. In a program titled ‘Digital Economy of the Russian Federation’, the ministry plans to legalize and regulate the blockchain technology in 2019.
It seems like Gorvkov and the VEB are also planning to jump on the bandwagon and participate in Russia's innovative activity of the financial sector. The CEO told Sputnik on Wednesday as part of the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF):
"When we started to think about how to manage projects efficiently, we realized that there is no platform. Everything that we had, became obsolete. We realized that the blockchain is a good fundamental and qualitative platform for the future. We started with this, we have established a qualification center and a pilot project was launched. We are launching the first prototype in terms of project management this fall."
According to Gorkov, the Vnesheconombank had seen the opportunity of processing and checking techs in the field of trade finance, which resulted in the Russian bank launching a pilot project along with Belarus.
The CEO also pointed out why they are not investing much money in the development of the blockchain tech:
"We do not invest heavily because it is a more likely a question of technology and not money."
Gorkov emphasized that it is a must for Russia to invest in innovative technologies, such as blockchain. By enough investment, according to the CEO of the VEB, blockchain will become an important technology, which will be used to improve the quality of the governance and will minimize the bureaucracy. Gorkov also pointed out the strategy of "catching-up development" saying it is necessary to "sell not just oil but crude products".
Image of Vnesheconombank chairman from Shutterstock.