REUTERS / Alexander Demianchuk
Ethereum founder Vitalek Buterin has reached an agreement with the state-owned Russian Development and Foreign Trade Bank, also known as Vnesheconombank (VEB), to create an entirely new entity called Ethereum Russia.
Ethereum Russia was founded by Buterin and Vladislav Martynov, CEO of Yota Devices, a Russia-based mobile communications and connectivity device company. It was created to improve the country’s ability to implement Blockchain technology.
Martynov stated that Ethereum Russia will provide education, events and architectural reviews to VEB and lead the development of a new center for blockchain research at the National University of Science and Technology (MISIS). It is financed by the VEB.
The reason Ethereum Russia and Ethereum Foundation must be two separate entities is so that the Foundation can remain “pure” and without any conflict of interest. In this way, other variable collaborations with the Russian government and corporations can easily be carried out on their own Ethereum platform.
Russia’s desire to give its state-owned companies and government agencies access to blockchain experts should come as no surprise. In recent months, the country has shown a keen interest in the technology, particularly when it comes to the cryptocurrency market.
Russia has made no secret of its intent to stay one step ahead of the game when it comes to blockchain.
At the Economic Forum in St. Petersburg in June, President Vladimir Putin described the digital economy as “the foundation for creating brand new business models” after meeting Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin.
The country is using blockchain technology more aggressively than many other major economic powers. In July, the privately owned airline S7 began to support its ticket sales with the help of a digital ledger. Some observed this as an attempt to outperform the state-owned Aeroflot, which is believed to be pursuing a similar project.
Blockchain is still a relatively new concept, and Russia wants to make sure it gets down to the ground floor. However, time is of the essence as we are already seeing various nations engaging with the technology regarding digital currencies. China is testing a national cryptocurrency backed by a blockchain, Estonia has plans for its own coin, and it has been reported that a cryptocurrency bill will soon go through the U.S. Congress.