Russian President Vladimir Putin recently met Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum, a cryptocurrency that competes with Bitcoin.
The meeting took place last week during the business event in St. Petersburg, as part of Vitalik’s plans to liaise with Russian partners to implement blockchain technologies, according to a Bloomberg report.
Ethereum also serves as the general ledger for everything from currency contracts to property rights, and it can also eliminate intermediaries like notaries, according to Bloomberg.
Putin and Russia argue that the digital economy is not an industry in its own right, but rather the “basis for creating brand new business models”. And virtual currencies could be the backbone of tomorrow’s economy by making transactions faster and more secure.
Meanwhile, the Russian central bank is already using an Ethereum-based blockchain to process online payments and confirm customer details with lenders. Perhaps more importantly, the government hasn’t ruled out using Ethereum to develop a national virtual currency for the country at some point in the future.
“Blockchain may have the same impact on businesses as the rise of the Internet – it would change business models and eliminate intermediaries such as trustees and employees,” said Vlad Martynov, advisor to the Ethereum Foundation, a non-company. Profit organization that supports the cryptocurrency. “If Russia does it first, it will get similar benefits to Western countries at the beginning of the Internet age.”
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