First Blockchain Payment Transacted By Russia’s Largest Bank

Announcements, Blockchain | December 5, 2017 By:

Russia’s Sberbank has conducted the country’s first payment transaction using the blockchain technology. The participants involved in the pilot include MegaFon, MegaLabs, Alfa-Bank, and IBM.

The Russian bank said the blockchain payment transaction used the IBM Blockchain platform on the basis of HyperLedger Fabric, an open source blockchain framework and one of the Hyperledger projects hosted by the Linux Foundation. The platform is designed for distributed ledger solutions, underpinned by a modular architecture delivering high degrees of confidentiality, resiliency, flexibility and scalability.

Sberbank CIB, the bank’s corporate and investment banking business, organized the blockchain payment transaction. It used the bank’s information technology (IT) infrastructure to set up a service for establishing the uniform transaction procedure, the certification center of the network, and a web app for the client with a personal account section. In addition, Sberbank and Alfa-Bank hosted the nodes of the blockchain network.

Sberbank CIB Managing Director Stella Kudachkina said the blockchain solution created by the bank has allowed them to make the first pilot payment transaction in the history of the Russian banking industry. She added that the advantage of using this technology when performing settlements is the high speed at which transfers are made.

“After the money is sent, the transaction is recorded on the receiver’s account almost instantly, in real time, unlike the traditional system that is used to make transfers,” said Kudachkina.

Sberbank is a state-owned Russian banking and financial services company headquartered in Moscow. The company has operations in several European and post-Soviet countries. It is the largest bank in Russia and Eastern Europe, and the third largest in Europe.

In April, the R3 blockchain consortium denied the application of the bank to join the rest of the banks in the consortium because of international sanctions against Russia. In October, Sberbank joined the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, becoming the first Russian bank to join the distributed ledger consortium.