Sberbank, one of the largest banks in Russia, has revealed that it has developed a blockchain laboratory to work on and test blockchain-based solutions.
The new lab aims to create product prototypes, conduct pilot tests and utilize blockchain-based business solutions for Sberbank Group, a press release says.
Igor Bulantsev, Sberbank’s senior vice president, said that blockchain could aid in “reshaping” the financial business market, as well as the bank’s activities and services.
“It is important to note that blockchain helps market participants cooperate more efficiently.
“Hence, Sberbank is making a contribution to the future of the banking industry and our country by launching the blockchain laboratory.”
The project will endeavor in cultivating progressive technologies in partnership with the bank’s other laboratories, and is also preparing to seal collaborations with startups, and via other alliances.
Sberbank’s blockchain lab will employ blockchain specialists with experience in creating and apllying blockchain ideas to current products as well as making new approaches to business activities, the release adds.
The launch comes a month after the CEO of Sberbank, Herman Gref, said that the broad-scale implementation of blockchain in Russia could drag on for as long as a decade.
He noted at the time, Russia is “experimenting a lot” on blockchain and added that the bank will introduce some products on a “large scale” this year.
“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,” Gref said at the time.
In February of last year, Gref predicted that the use of distributed ledger technology by banks and other incumbents could be just 2–2.5 years away.
Sberbank has initiated a number of projects in the blockchain ecosystem including its recent entrance into the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance – an enterprise-focused consortium.
A number of the bank’s blockchain-based pilot projects include joint solutions with Severstal and Federal Antimonopoly Services, among others.
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