Russia’s largest bank by assets, Sberbank has joined the world’s largets blockchain consortium, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. In an announcement m
Russia’s largest bank by assets, Sberbank has joined the world’s largets blockchain consortium, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. In an announcement made this week, Sberbank has become the first Russian bank to join the EEA while also revealing its intentions to develop Ethereum blockchain solutions in Russia and gain access to international expertise in blockchain.
The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance was founded in February 2016 by 30 members. It consists of a working group of companies, corporations, tech startups and governments aiming to take advantage of the Ethereum technology to create enterprise blockchain solutions. The consortium has lately announced the addition of Sberbank to become one of its 150 members from both private and public sector.
Sberbank had publicly declared its interest in joining the world of blockchain as early as 2015. The bank had revealed its desire to join global partners and even tried to join the R3 led international banking blockchain consortium. R3 denied the bank membership to the consortium. Sberbank later joined the Hyperledger in September 2016. Hyperledger is led by the Linux Foundation.
A statement from Sberbank’s senior vice president Igor Bulantsev said that their entrance to the alliance will help “broaden cooperation between leading global companies in terms of developing the Ethereum platform” He also stated his hopes that the bank’s expertise will be valuable to all Alliance members. He added that the bank will also be able to influence the platform’s growth in the corporate environment and that the union will hopefully further strengthen their relationship with the Ethereum Foundation and contribute significantly towards growth of blockchain in Russia.
One year ago, Sberbank together with other Russian financial institututions participated in Masterchain, a blockchain prototype based on Etherum and developed by the Bank of Russia for interbank messaging. Shortly after, Sberbank together with a Russian federal agency announced successful testing of a blockchain prototype for document exchange.
The bank’s CEO is a known advocate of the blockchain and bitcoin. He has previously criticized a now defunct bill by the Russian authorities meant to ban bitcoin and has predicted that in 2019, blockchain will lead to commercial applications.