Ethereum creator addresses growing global interest1

During a recent visit to Russia, Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin found himself briefly in the presence of Vladimir Putin and met in depth with industry leaders.

On his conversation with Putin, Buterin said, "The meeting was quite short."

He went on to say, "The longer and deeper discussions took place with Russian companies and government agencies who are interested in exploring blockchain technology for applications like birth, death, marriage, and land registries."

According to the Ethereum Foundation, Buterin has spoken to government authorities in the US, Canada, UK, China, Taiwan, and others.

The meeting with industry leaders is consistent with budding global interests. Right now, in the US, the Securities Exchange Commission is weighing whether to approve an Ethereum-based exchange-traded fund. In turn, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) announced that the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation joined its ranks

Northward, though the Bank of Canada has decided to set blockchain technology aside for the time being, after concluding a test on security and scalability, the separate but similarly named National Bank of Canada has joined the EEA, counting itself among a growing number of innovators in the blockchain sector.

In the UK, Brexit tensions may be mounting but development for FinTech is at full steam with support from government agencies. An example of this took place in 2016 when the UK government awarded 248,000 pounds to Tramonex to develop cross currency payment systems which leverage the Ethereum blockchain.

Eyes turn to the east as the People's Bank of China is expected to produce regulatory guidelines for blockchain-based businesses sometime this month. For the first time ever, late in May 2017, Chinese crypto-exchanges OkCoin and Huobi listed Ether, suggesting growing support of Ethereum in the Asian market.

In Taiwan, developers of OwlTing have successfully integrated Ethereum-backed blockchain technology to track food from organic sources to consumers on the OwlChain. A cooperative application allows for both those farming and those making recommendations to see a share of rewards.

Elsewhere, recently as last week, the Monetary Authority of Singapore released a report which describes a central-bank-issued digital currency, backed by an Ethereum-based protocol. On a global scale, the World Food Programme is exploring an Ethereum solution to fight hunger.

Blockchain technology is clearly a disruptor and may be a forerunner to drastic shifts in markets, so it is being taken seriously by commercial, industrial, and government entities that are anxious to capitalize on this emergent technology. Speaking with Buterin, who is an active leader of Ethereum platform, represents an opportunity for those who wish to develop in the space to gain powerful insights into the future of the ecosystem.

Jeremy Nation is a writer living in Los Angeles with interests in technology, human rights, and cuisine. He is a full time staff writer for ETHNews and holds value in Ether.
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