Russian Information Minister Is Keen to Explore Blockchain Technology

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December 21, 2015

Nikolai Nikiforov, the Russian Minister for Communications and Mass Media spoke about Bitcoin’s underlying technology, the blockchain. The Minister notes the distributed ledger technology as “very interesting” and intends to monitor its development going forward.

Speaking at the ‘Internet Economy’ forum today, the Russian Minister for Communications and Mass Media, Nikolai Nikiforov elaborated on “necessity to explore the use of blockchain technology in the best interests of the public.”

In comments that were reported by state-owned news agency TASS, Nikiforov said:

As a new technology, the blockchain is very interesting because it can be used in many areas, not just cryptocurrencies. Generally, we [the Ministry], must ascertain how to use this technology for the benefit of the public.

Nikolai Nikiforov

The Minister also deemed the blockchain as extremely “interesting” , while noting that the Russian Ministry of Communications will conduct research and further study the technology. He sees the technology of a distributed ledger helping the Russian economy and the communion between the government and its people within the next five to ten years.

We need to look at the horizon of the next 5-10 years to ascertain how this technology can help the national economy, the relations between the state and the public. There are plenty of possibilities [with the technology].

The interest in blockchain with the dismissal of bitcoin is a recurring theme in recent times within the Fintech industry and the same applies for bitcoin- and blockchain-related opinions coming from regulators, authorities and banks in Russia.

Recently, Russia’s largest bank by assets, Sberbank was reportedly interested in joining the global blockchain-based consortium led by New York-based startup R3. The bank’s First Deputy Chairman spoke about the blockchain while noting that the Russian central bank did not change its “negative take” on cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.

It was in October this year when the Russian Finance Ministry proposed a 4 year prison sentence for any Russian citizens engaging in the trade of bitcoins or any virtual currencies.

Featured image from Shutterstock. Image of Nikolai Nikiforov from Wikimedia.

Last modified (UTC): December 21, 2015 21:54

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