Russian Central Bank Sends First Distributed Ledger Transactions

The central bank of Russia has successfully completed a distributed ledger trial.

Dubbed “Masterchain”, the Bank of Russia described the system as “a technical prototype for financial messaging” that uses a distributed ledger built with participation from undisclosed market participants. The prototype, it further said, provides a means to pass financial information between parties, ensuring “prompt confirmation of data actuality”.

According to bank representatives, the prototype could serve as a basis for future systems, enabling the development of new products and services that use the distributed ledger.

News of the distributed ledger trial represents the strongest endorsement of the technology from Russia’s central bank to date.

Officials from the institution have indicated in the past that they see a potential role for the tech in Russia’s financial system, both as a means for data exchange – shown in the Masterchain project – as well as future applications in the area of digital currency.

Bank of Russia deputy governor Olga Skorobogatova said in a statement:

“The creation of prototypes and [the] joint inquiry of applicabilities help both the regulator, and the market participants understand outcomes, estimate capacities, mitigate the risks of using different technologies, and decide on follow-up actions. This is a good groundwork for onward progress.”

Perhaps most notably, Skorobogatova said that the Bank of Russia was weighing whether to use Masterchain as part of a “new-generation financial infrastructure,” a development that comes amid an uncertain environment in Russia surrounding the technology.

Skorobogatova also suggested that the prototype be used in conjunction with a fintech working group the Russian central bank said it is launching.

Russian coin image via Shutterstock

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