Russian government turns to Ethereum Foundation for blockchain plans

Last week VEB, a major state-owned Russian development bank, signed a partnership agreement with the Ethereum Foundation to develop and implement Blockchain-based government applications.

The Foundation’s founder Vitalik Buterin and VEB President Sergey Gorokov Chairman both took part in the signing ceremony, which was held during a Blockchain conference in Kazan, the capital of the innovation-friendly republic of Tatarstan.

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The agreement includes a “long-term and effective partnership in the implementation of projects using a distributed registry technology and the Ethereum platform,” as well as the formation of an Ethereum expert community.

The partners will also launch joint educational and training programs within an upcoming VEB Blockchain competence center.

 The partnership agreement was signed personally by Ethereum Foundation founder Vitalik Buterin and VEB President Sergey Gorkov. Photo credit: VEB.

This competence center is designed to “unite the efforts of all interested parties and create an ecosystem of innovations,” said Gorkov. It is scheduled for opening in September at MISiS, a major Russian science and technology university.

“Cooperation between Ethereum and VEB gives a unique opportunity to engage in research and development on the use of blockchain technology for public administration and accelerating the adoption of this technology to government organizations in the Russian Federation,” Buterin stated.

Putin is watching

In June, the Russian government launched a working group to implement Blockchain technologies in state administrations, assigning a coordinating role to VEB, including the creation of the competence center.

That same month, during the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, Ethereum caught the attention of Vladimir Putin, which saw in it a potential tool for the country’s economic diversification. The Russian president personally met Buterin at the forum.

Just weeks ago, the Federal Agency for Technical Regulation and Metrology (Rosstandart) appointed a new technical committee to work on the standardization of software and hardware related to distributed register and Blockchain technologies, in coordination with the International Standardisation Organisation.

This story is published in partnership with East-West Digital News, an international news resource about innovation in Central and Eastern Europe.

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