Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has effectively declared a blockchain race during a meeting with his officials on Saturday. Putin said:
“He who is late in this race they instantly… I want to underline it… in any case very fast… will be under full dependence to the leaders of this technology.”
In a somewhat brief speech Putin hinted Russia could follow in the footsteps of Venezuela and use blockchain technology to advance the country’s resources.
“We have oil, gas, coal, metals of all kind, ferrous and non-ferrous, gold, platinum, diamonds… everything. And initially the industry is developing quite fast and production is growing. We have a good intellectual base, but we need to further advance. This is what we need. And we have to work for this,” Putin says.
It is unclear what industry he is referring to as developing quite fast, but that description would apply far more to blockchain tech than metals.
What Putin, therefore, seems to be saying after listing the resources is that blockchain technology is developing quite fast, Russia has a decent blockchain tech talent base, but its use and implementation needs to move faster.
If that’s indeed the case, then he appear to be subtly suggesting Russia should tokenize these resources through an ICO or otherwise and rather than sell them through traditional means potentially sell them Venezuelan style. Not least because he further adds:
“The Stone Age has not ended due to the lack of stones, but because new technologies have appeared. And now new technologies appear in the world.”
Putin emphasizes Russia has to be at the forefront of this new technology or at least not be left behind, ordering his officials:
“Everything I said, we will take them into account to guarantee this progress into the future.” A statement which suggests Putin is not very happy with the current speed of blockchain development in Russia and thus used the opportunity to set the tone to move faster for, he says, there’s a race.
That is indeed the case as we recently saw with Venezuela’s ingenious move to tap global markets by tokenizing their oil and gold through an ICO. Turkey and Iran are now joining the blockchain race with proposals to issue a national crypto of their own.
While in US Berkeley is moving ahead with plans to tokenize their bonds. In EU Estonia dreams of a digital empire through Estcoin. Dubai is busy blockchenizing their whole country. And Singapore is tokenizing their dollar.
These moves, especially in regards to tokenized bonds or assets, do appear to be very new financial innovations which can have considerable implications for wealth generation.
Yet that is but one area. The tone however is clearly changing, at least in Russia. Putin’s comments followed remarks by Herman Gref, president of the biggest Russian bank Sberbank, who said “caution is needed.”
Putin’s response was in effect to say Russia has to move much faster because there is a race underway to implement blockchain technology.