The Russian Ministry of Communications and Mass Media in conjunction with the Ministry of Economic Development has responded to a mandate from Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. The mandate, given during a speech at the recent Russian Investment Forum in Sochi, called for a feasibility analysis of what Medvedev called a tool already being used “by major banks, corporations and even some governments.”
Alluding to a digital economy initiative taking shape in Russia, Medvedev said of blockchain:
“The technology is unique. It excludes the existence of intermediaries and the authenticity of operations is confirmed by the network users themselves … people believe it could help to get rid of the excessive bureaucratization of business turnover.”
As reported by the Moscow-based media outlet Tass, the two supervisory ministries have completed a preliminary analysis titled “Digital Economy of the Russian Federation,” in which they refer to “bringing into effect regulatory acts governing the possible use of technology for decentralized registers and legal certificates.”
This preliminary study is the latest news out of Russia, indicating a growing trend of high-level support for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Teymur Shternlib, Senior Vice President of Sberbank and head of Sberbank Digital, also took part in what is being referred to as the State Programme to Develop Russia’s Digital Economy and recently commented:
“We are studying the entire world, searching for new and interesting business models and companies and investing in them ... Areas of particular interest include FinTech, eHealth, education, cloud technologies, smart cities … we work with Russian funds and accelerators as part of our efforts to find the best of the best.”
A working group comprised of international experts, Russian stakeholders, and staff from the World Bank have been evaluating the ramifications and opportunities of blockchain technology in Russia since December 2016. The Russian Central Bank has also been keeping a close eye on cryptocurrency and blockchain developments.