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Sberbank Chairman: Blockchain Adoption Could Take 10 Years

The head of Sberbank believes that the wider-scale implementation of blockchain in Russia could take as long as a decade.

As quoted by state-owned news service TASS, Herman Gref, Sberbank’s chairman of the board, indicated that the institution could roll out products based on the tech as early as next year.

But the wider adoption of blockchain could take much longer than that, according to the Sberbank chief.

Gref was quoted as saying:

“If we talk about Russia, we have the largest number of implemented projects concerning blockchain. Although, they are all in the experimental mode. We are experimenting a lot. Maybe in 2018 we will be able to introduce some products on a large scale. The blockchain technology is one of our tricks. I estimate the implementation horizon of the technology in 8 [to] 10 years.”

In the interview, Gref specifically noted that commercial use of the ethereum blockchain could begin playing out of the next year or two. Sberbank became a member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance back in October, as previously reported by CoinDesk.

“The technology is not yet ready for commercial implementation, it will take another year, maybe a year and a half or two, so that we can start using it,” he remarked.

Gref has predicted a longer timeline for blockchain adoption in the past, as previously reported.

Earlier this year, Gref stated that the use of blockchain by banks could be just “two to two-and-a-half years away.” At the time, he noted that Sberbank is working on its own blockchain applications.

Sberbank image via Shutterstock

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Russian Finance Minister: 'No Point in Prohibiting' Cryptocurrencies

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said his department will regulate the use of cryptocurrencies in the country by the end of 2017.

Siluanov offered insight into the government’s plans to oversee Russia’s domestic cryptocurrency market during an appearance at the Moscow Financial Forum last Friday. Echoing previous statements by members of the Russian government, Siluanov said banning cryptocurrencies does not make sense and that the ministry will likely treat digital monies similarly to securities, Reuters reports.

According to Wordnews, Siluanov said:

“The state certainly understands that cryptocurrencies are a reality, there is no point in prohibiting them. It is possible to regulate them, so the Finance Ministry will draw up a bill by the end of the year.”

His comments add to those coming from other quarters of the Russian government, offering yet another window into what could be a completed policy move by the end of the year

Earlier this month, State Duma financial markets committee head Anatoly Aksakov said he would be forming a working group to determine how best to create legislation regulating cryptocurrencies. He, too, indicated a bill will be passed before the end of the year.

Russia’s central bank also declared it was working on a regulation for digital currencies earlier this year.

While the government would be regulating them, cryptocurrencies are still risky, Siluanov said. There is an immense potential for fraud due to the nature of trading cryptocurrencies. He referred to the technology as being insecure.

Minister of Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin agreed, calling cryptocurrencies “volatile” and saying financial institutions may find it difficult to conduct transactions with them. Digital currencies’ ability to jump or drop in value quickly in particular is of concern.

According to Lenta.ru, he told a Russian news network that:

“We see that the volatility that exists here is tens of percent in one direction, tens of percent in the other direction, which in fact is bad about this instrument.”

Regulating the market would prevent those rapid shifts, ensuring more security for those who trade in these currencies, he said.

Some statements in this article have been translated from Russian.

Anton Siluanov image via ID1974/Shutterstock

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