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A Recent History of Blockchain and the Impact on Government and Business
26 May 2018
10:00—11:15
KEY CONCLUSIONS
The use of blockchain technology is currently limited to the financial sector

In the world, there is not a single industrial large solution on distributed registers, except bitcoin and other crypto-currencies. I think this partly happened because business never explained what’s the added value in switching to this technology from the existing one — Olga Skorobogatova, First Deputy Governor, Bank of Russia .

According to published statistics, 74% of large corporations say that there is a blockchain business case, however it is mainly applied to crypto-currencies — Max Hauser, Partner, Managing Director, The Boston Consulting Group.

Around the world there are not many examples of using blockchain technology in business or public policy. Real examples can be counted on a palm of a hand — Alexander Borodich, Founder, Universa Blockchain Platform .

Investments in the blockchain in 2018 increased 2.2 times compared with 2017, but still remain fairly limited. Currently, it is 2.1 billion dollars, with 36% of the investments volume coming from the financial sector — Olga Skorobogatova, First Deputy Governor, Bank of Russia .

Technologies of distributed registers underlie the future economy  

In terms of using blockchain technology for the state: for us it is an opportunity to store a huge amount of data and simplify the interaction between a citizen and the state, a chance reduce the state bureaucracy — Sergey Zhigarev, State Duma Committee on Economic Policy, Industry, Innovative Development, and Entrepreneurship .

We believe that the technology of distributed registries is only at the beginning of its development. <...> These are promising things, and in the future there will be more effective technologies for monitoring the processes taking place in this area — Shannon Poulin, Vice President, Director for Implementing New Technologies in Global Markets, Intel Corporation .

Blockchain is an extremely interesting opportunity for financial services, especially with regard to registering records — Robert Contri, Financial Services Industry Leader, Deloitte Global; Member of the Board of Directors, Deloitte US.

There are two areas that need the blockchain: first of all, it is financial services. Visibility and speed of transactions is required there, and it is necessary that these transactions occur as efficiently as possible. The second area is real estate — Shannon Poulin, Vice President, Director for Implementing New Technologies in Global Markets, Intel Corporation .

Successful implementation of blockchain-technologies requires fundamental changes in the economy

The digital profile is one of the key projects in the digital economy. It is much broader than the blockchain, it is a philosophy for the digital economy when we need to have this digital profile and solve the problem of using this data safely. <...> Together with the community we are very active, this project will be discussed at the level of the new minister of digitalization and communication of Akimov — Olga Skorobogatova, First Deputy Governor, Bank of Russia .

No digital, no blockchain, no cloud technologies will not fit in the existing processes, there’s no point in trying. When we talk about the state register or about mortgages, or about transferring the existing process to blockchain. We need to change the process in such a way that it really made sense to apply this technology — Olga Skorobogatova, First Deputy Governor, Bank of Russia .

ISSUES
Lagging regulation

The lack of legislation that regulates the blockchain is more of a minus than a plus. <...> Lack of a clear understanding of legislative regulation today creates unnecessary questions — Sergey Zhigarev, State Duma Committee on Economic Policy, Industry, Innovative Development, and Entrepreneurship .

We have developers and we have a ready-made technology, but because of the lack of a regulation, in particular in the Universa project, we can not implement them — Alexander Borodich, Founder, Universa Blockchain Platform .

The legislation that the parliament is now passing does not satisfy the industry, because the embedded schemes do not correspond to those digital concepts that have appeared — Yury Pripachkin, President, Russian Association of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain.

Lack of mutual understanding at the international level

International politics hinders our legislative ties, so that at least at the level of leaders we can agree on the terms — Sergey Zhigarev, State Duma Committee on Economic Policy, Industry, Innovative Development, and Entrepreneurship .

Technological problems

There are technological problems, like speed, scaling. <...> However, now there are a lot of developments, we maybe are a year and a half from the moment when the speed and scalability of various platforms of the blockchain will significantly increase — Vladislav Martynov, Member of the Supervisory Board, Ethereum Foundation.

High level of risks when using blocking technologies

If we talk about crypto, this is a super-high-risk tool, there is a lot of hype, there is data that 80–90% transactions are still fraudulent. This means that while in this field there are more questions than answers — Olga Skorobogatova, First Deputy Governor, Bank of Russia .

SOLUTIONS
Establishing adequate regulation

We can not avoid fraud, but we can probably reduce risks. <...> One way is to introduce regulatory measures to ensure the success of operations, the second way is to use third parties, such as large audit companies to monitor the process. The third way is similar to any start-ups or entrepreneurial projects: first you need to analyse the team, the business plan, paper documents, the preliminary cost of the project and whether it can really make a profit — Demetrios Zamboglou, Chief Business Development Officer, Lykke Corp.

Increasing the level of confidence at the interstate level

If we talk about the possibility of a digital currency, I believe that it makes sense when we talk about the level of several countries. Its value is explicable in this part: while preserving the independence of each country's payment systems, you create another platform where you can settle a part of foreign trade transactions. You use new technologies, where each country trusts each other because they can see each other. We are just considering such a project at the EAC level — Olga Skorobogatova, First Deputy Governor, Bank of Russia .

Creating conditions for the work of specialists in Russia

60-70% of developers in the global blockchain community are Russian speakers. We have tremendous technical universities, where Soviet mathematical school has been preserved. We constantly put out highly qualified specialists. <...> We need to make serious efforts for these people to stay and work here — Vladislav Martynov, Member of the Supervisory Board, Ethereum Foundation.

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS