Russia's Central Bank Mulls Ethereum System for Pan-Eurasian Payments

The Central Bank of Russia may use its ethereum-based Masterchain software to communicate financial messaging across the Eurasian Economic Union.

AccessTimeIconApr 4, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:46 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

The Central Bank of Russia is considering using its Masterchain blockchain software to transmit SWIFT financial messaging across the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), an official said on Tuesday.

Russia's FinTech Association, formed under the oversight of the central bank, successfully carried out a trial of the ethereum-based software in 2016 and completed a working version of it in 2017.

"An active discussion is underway, and we are looking into several quality technologies, including Masterchain," said Olga Skorobogatova, the Central Bank of Russia's first deputy chairman, according to Russian news agency Tass.

Skorobogatova explained that Masterchain is under consideration within the context of a broader examination of how the blockchain could create a "supranational infrastructure" for payments within the EAEU, allowing member states to "sidestep" existing payment systems.

The Bank intends to operate its platform of choice within Russia first, rolling it out later as an EAEU-wide system.

As for when further deliberation over Masterchain might take place, Skorobogatova remarked, "I think that we will discuss options regarding this project as early as this year."

The Central Bank of Russia has been actively involved in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space, and has taken a particularly strict approach to the latter. In 2017, it both issued warnings regarding the risks associated with crypto investments and backed efforts to block websites selling cryptocurrencies in the country.

Central Bank of Russia image via Shutterstock

Disclosure

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.


Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.