Russia’s Security Council casts doubt on blockchain implementation

Maria Nikolova

The authoritative bodies should first explore the matters concerning information security before implementing blockchain-based systems in financial areas.

There has been a wave of enthusiasm that has engulfed Russia because of the growing number of possible applications of distributed ledger technologies (DLT) and blockchain, in particular. Today’s statement by the Security Council of the Russian Federation, however, stands in stark contrast to the warm welcome blockchain has thus far received by Russian businesses and authorities.

In a brief announcement, following a meeting of several of its internal commissions, the Security Council said that blockchain, in the face of its numerous advantages, leaves open many questions regarding information security. That is why, the Council recommends that before this technology is used in the financial sector, the questions regarding the information security provided by blockchain systems be studied by regulators and businesses.

In March this year, Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev instructed the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications and the Ministry of Economic Development to study the possible applications of blockchain technology in a number of economic areas. In May, he said that the main moments of regulating blockchain and related DLT should be clear by the time blockchain enters in various areas of life.

Russia’s Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications has set 2019 as the deadline for the adoption of the laws and legal amendments necessary for the legalization of blockchain.

Russia’s businesses are also increasingly exploring the potential of DLT. Payments services provider Qiwi PLC (NASDAQ:QIWI) has established a subsidiary called Qiwi Blockchain Technologies (QBT) and is now expanding further into this fintech area via the acquisition of InspiRussia, a Tatarstan-based business developing blockchain-based solutions.

Let’s note that there are businesses that shun blockchain. National Card Payment System Joint Stock Company (NSPK), for instance, sees no possibility and no need to apply blockchain technologies. NSPK’s General Director Vladimir Komlev said he saw no applications of this technology at present and that all current tasks that NSPK faces can be solved via means other than blockchain. Mr Komlev also said the blockchain technologies were not fast enough in terms of processing.

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