The government of Russia is making concerted efforts to dominate the fledgling blockchain technology industry.
Blockchain to Belong to Russia
Many companies and countries around the world have expressed their interest in blockchain technology. One of the major players in this innovative new technology is Russia. President Vladimir Putin has pushed blockchain technology as part of his new “digital economy” program, saying that the country can’t be “late in the race” for blockchain dominance. Putin has even met with Vitalik Buterin, one of the co-founders of Ethereum.
An article in the New York Times reports that the Russian government sent a high number of representatives to an International Standards Organization (ISO) meeting in Tokyo last year that was meant to establish international standards for blockchain technology. Many attendants at the meeting were very surprised to find out that the head of the Russian delegation, Grigory Marshalko, worked for the FSB, the successor to the infamous KGB. Marshalko also mentioned that 2 other members of the 4-person Russian delegation were also members of the FSB.
When delegates from other countries asked Marshalko why the Russian government spends so many resources to explore blockchain technology, he answered:
Look, the internet belongs to the Americans — but blockchain will belong to us.
It’s fairly obvious by the comments made by Marshalko, not to mention the emphasis placed upon the new technology by Putin and his government, that Russia is looking to take a dominant position in the field of blockchain technology.
A Race for Blockchain Technology
Russia wasn’t the only country that sent high-powered delegations to the ISO blockchain meeting in Tokyo. The report mentions that 25 different countries sent over 130 people in total. China sent representatives from their finance ministry, while the US decided to send delegates from private corporations like IBM and Microsoft. The head of the British delegation, Gilbert Verdian, stated the following on why countries are pushing hard to steer the future standards of blockchain technology:
It is a very sought-out technology today, because it really does create the foundation for the future that is coming,
He also added:
To get behind it and back it now is going to put people at an advantage, either politically or economically.
While international standards are attempting to be hammered out, there’s a lot of cloak-and-dagger stuff going on behind the scenes. Many countries see blockchain as the new battlefield to stake out their claim of superiority. As such, countries like Russia are looking to tweak the standards to gain an advantage while hindering other sovereign nations.
What are your thoughts on Russia’s interest in blockchain technology? Do you think that more governments will try to explore blockchain technology? Let us know in the comments below!
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