Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has asked two government ministries and a state-owned development bank to investigate public sector blockchain applications.
According to a transcript of a 6th March speech, Medvedev discussed blockchain and other topics before an audience of Russian government officials. After providing a brief overview of the tech, Medvedev said that he has asked the Ministry of Communications and the Ministry of Economic Development to research the use of the tech in the public space. Further, the Russian Development Bank – a state-backed financial services firm – has also been tasked with the research.
Medvedev went on to say (according to a translation):
"I gave instructions to relevant ministries - the Ministry of Communications and Ministry of Economic Development - to consider the application of these technologies in the preparation of the program "Digital Economy'."
An order published alongside the comments states that the ministries in question should examine how blockchain could be leveraged "in the system of public administration and the economy of the Russian Federation". According to the order, the ministries have a deadline of 11th May to develop their initial response.
Medvedev's remarks come just over a week after he appeared during an investor event in Sochi, during which he said that blockchain "may thus decisively change our lives".
The news signals that the Russian national government is aligning itself with efforts undertaken by both the country's private sector as well as its central bank, the Bank of Russia.
The central bank has spearheaded a new fintech-focused working group, led by blockchain-friendly firm Qiwi. The Bank of Russia, too, has pursued research into areas like digital currencies, a process that saw it develop a distributed ledger platform dubbed "Masterchain".
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