Russian President Vladimir Putin recently met with Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum, a crypto currency that rivals bitcoin.
The meeting took place last week during the St. Petersburg Economic as part of Vitalik's plans to create contacts with Russian partners to implement blockchain technologies, according to a Bloomberg report.
Ethereum also serves as a ledger for everything from currency contracts to property rights and can also eliminate intermediaries such as notaries, Bloomberg noted.
Putin and Russia's position is that the digital economy isn't a separate industry, but the "foundation for creating brand new business models." And virtual currencies could be the back-bone of tomorrow's economy by making transactions happen quicker and safer.
Meanwhile, Russia's central bank already uses an Ethereum-based blockchain to process online payments and confirm customer data with lenders. Perhaps more important, the government hasn't ruled out using Ethereum to develop a national virtual currency for the country at some point in the future.
"Blockchain may have the same effect on businesses that the emergence on the internet once had -- it would change business models, and eliminate intermediaries such as escrow agents and clerks," said Vlad Martynov, an adviser for The Ethereum Foundation, a non-profit organization that backs the cryptocurrency. "If Russia implements it first, it will gain similar advantages to those the Western countries did at the start of the internet age."
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