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.
"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