Priorities change depending on events, and Russia’s president may take notice. In a recent speech at the Artificial Intelligence Journey 2022 international AI and machine learning conference, Vladimir Putin spoke about the benefits of using a global payment system based on the Blockchain-Technology.
For President Putin, the main benefit would be the ability to have a global payment framework that is not controlled by foreign powers. However, he also mentions that the use of such technology in conjunction with other developments (e.g. artificial intelligence) could make payments more efficient and affordable.
A blockchain-based Swift replacement?
President Vladimir Putin stated that the right use of blockchain technology could be of great benefit to users and governments. He said that a decentralized, non-monopolistic technology will eventually be adopted globally because of the benefits it offers:
The technology of digital currencies and blockchains can be used to create a new system of international settlements that is much more convenient and completely safe for its users and, most importantly, does not depend on banks or third-party interference. I am confident that something like this will certainly be created and developed, because nobody likes the dictates of the monopolists, which harms all parties, including the monopolists themselves.
Following the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the United States and parts of the international community imposed a series of financial sanctions on Russia. These sanctions have severely affected the country’s ability to make international payments, including the operations of Russia’s leading bank, Sberbank, in other countries.
The president went on to claim that the current payments system is inefficient and “controlled by a narrow club of states and financial groups.”
Putin didn’t elaborate further on his idea of a blockchain payment system, instead focusing on the need to innovate in the field of artificial intelligence and develop a cloud infrastructure capable of serving the needs of the entire country.
Russia is slowly embracing crypto
Of course, a payment structure based on blockchain technology is also possible. Still, President Putin ignored the suggestion, leaving aside the question of who would control the validation nodes of such a system. In the case of a permissioned blockchain network, when governments themselves control the nodes, the ability to censor transactions is as imminent as in the current payment system.
Russia has a love-hate relationship with cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. As of today, President Putin appears to be in the “pro-blockchain, anti-crypto” camp. Holding cryptocurrencies is allowed in the country, but their use in payments and financial applications is strictly prohibited as they are considered activities that would imitate the nature of the ruble and violate the country’s sovereignty.
However, the country’s political stance has recently become more flexible. In addition to the president’s calls to explore the use of blockchain technology, there are reports that the country is opening up to the idea of approving the launch of a national cryptocurrency exchange.
Also, a few days ago, the Duma started talks on legalizing cryptocurrency mining and selling mining tokens — something Putin also mentioned at the time.
Source: Crypto News Deutsch