Blockchain

Putin becomes a fan of blockchain

EPA / SERGEI SAVOSTYANOV / TASS

Russian President Vladimir Putin is ready to provide full support to the development of the blockchain technology, according to details leaked from his meeting with the founder of Ethereum Vitalik Buterin.

Putin met with the Russian programmer on the sidelines of the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg last week, where the two discussed the application of the technology in the country. Although the content of their conversation remains a secret, reports revealed that that the president supported the idea of establishing new business relationships based on further development of the blockchain. This corresponds to comments made by Russia’s First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, who said earlier during the Forum that Putin is extremely enthusiastic about building a new digital economy in Russia. He also claimed that, at the moment, at least three directions of blockchain application are being explored and tested, including the tracking of goods as well as building identity and ownership rights protection systems.

Buterin, who was one of the speakers at the Forum, talked about the potential of the blockchain technology to trigger the establishment of a new type of economy and discussed the associated regulatory issues. However, he said that the issue of pseudo-anonymity that Russian authorities are most worried about is a dilemma without resolution, as regulators will always come up with new ways to control and analyze transactions, while individuals will always try to hide that information. The system’s properties will never let either of the two sides win, though, Buterin added.

If Russia indeed becomes one of the leaders in the global IT industry as intended, this could lead to a greater volume of investments coming into the country, while adding to the popularity and legitimacy of the blockchain technology.

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