Blockchain Tech Still Needs to “Mature,” Says Russian Central Bank Official

Blockchain, News | May 29, 2018 By:

Olga Skorobogatova, first deputy governor of the central bank of Russia, said that blockchain technology is not yet “mature” enough and still requires many improvements.

During a discussion at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Skorobogatova said that for blockchain to be used on an industrial scale, the technology needs to improve in security and scalability.

“In the world there is still no big industrial solution on distributed ledgers, except for bitcoins,” said Skorobogatova. “This is mainly due to the fact that the technology is not mature enough.”

Skorobogatova said blockchain applications can be divided into two categories, depending on their use. She said banks would benefit from blockchain systems that offer a distributed settlement infrastructure, such as Corda and Ripple. The second category involves offline platforms that provide smart contract functionality, such as ethereum and Hyperledger.

The deputy governor said the lack of large-scale adoption was due to the fact that businesses and executives are yet to understand the value of transitioning and adopting blockchain technology. But she felt that 2018 would be the year that companies would come to “a pragmatic understanding” of the purposes for which blockchain is beneficial, after which they would transition to tackle industrial-scale applications.

Regarding crypto regulations, Skorobogatova said the central bank still sticks to a conservative approach towards cryptocurrencies, though it does not rule out it will be revised in the future.

“So far, the issue of using cryptocurrencies as a means of payment is not on the table, as risks are still high,” Skorobogatova said “However, this does not mean that we will not return to the issue after a while when we realize that the technology itself and cases based on it have shown their relevance.”

Last month, Russia’s central bank launched a regulatory sandbox aimed at fostering and developing financial technologies including blockchain. Last week, the country’s National Settlement Depository and Sberbank CIB, the bank’s corporate and investment banking arm, announced that they would carry out a trial initial coin offering (ICO) issuance over the platform.