The state owned development banks of China, Russia, Brazil, India and South Africa signed an agreement last month at the 10th BRICS summit in Johannesburg to collaborate on blockchain research in the context of the development of the digital economy.
Russia’s state run Vnesheconombank, which provides funding for projects aimed at developing the Russian economy, was one of the signatories. As was Brazil’s equivalent, BNDES, the Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank), China’s Development Bank (CDB), and the Development Bank of Southern Africa.
“This joint work opens new opportunities for Russian exporters, operators of large industrial projects, recipients of investments,” Mikhail Poluboyarinov, First Deputy Chairman of Vnesheconombank, said before adding:
“The current agreement allows the development banks of BRICS countries to study the applications of innovative technologies in infrastructure finance and bank products optimization.”
A number of these banks have undertaken their own blockchain related projects. Vnesheconombank, for example, signed an agreement last year with a new entity formed by Vitalik Buterin, ethereum’s co-founder, called Ethereum Russia.
While BNDES tokenized Brazilian Real on ethereum’s public blockchain to increase the transparency of development or research grants.
This collaboration between the BRICS state banks might allow them to potentially tackle more ambitious projects that could lead to the results being shared between all the five emerging economies.
“We believe that this work will contribute to our cooperation in adapting to the evolving internet economy,” the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
Interest in blockchain technology has been growing in all five BRICS countries, especially in China where searches for ethereum’s programming language, Solidity, continue to dominant, but also in Russia where Vladimir Putin is known to be fond of blockchain tech.
South Africa has seen some developments recently that have increased awareness there, as has Brazil, while India appears to be a bit behind. What comes out of this agreement, however, remains to be seen.