Power of blockchain embraced by Russian
Blockchain is mainly associated with crypto-currency as it
is the underlying technology supporting digital currencies such as Bitcoin and
Ripple. However, it can be applied in multiple use cases besides digital
We can understand blockchain as a massive Excelsheet or
ledger with few major differentiating factors. None of the record over this
blockchain network can be changed or deleted. It is more like a
consensus-driven protocol where in user cannot randomly add a record when they
want to but needs approval by other stakeholders i.e. users.
On the basis of the aforementioned advantages and it being
highly efficient and accurate, blockchain find its usage outside banking system
at multiple places such as supply chain and even government administration.
Russian government has recently added blockchain as underlying technology in
the applications developed at government level. Sberbank, Russian state-run
bank, has teamed up with Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) to use
blockchain for document storage and transfer.
Russia has been keen to develop blockchain technology for
quite some time but this new move seems to be its first successful
implementation. However, state is not the only one to ripe the benefits of
blockchain. “Our country is opening up new possibilities for the economy
through the use of advanced knowledge and technology. Making the system launch
a reality means we are not only one of the first actual users of Blockchain for government in the world, but also are
pioneering its use as a practical tool for further growth.”1 said Andrey Tsarikovskiy, stat?
secretary and deputy head of FAS, at Sberbank’s press release.
Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the use of
blockchain technology in different sectors of Russia with Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum
co-founder. Moreover, VEB an Russian state owned bank has signed an agreement
to create and implement blockchain in educational programs across Russia with
Russia was pioneer in crackdown of crypto by regulating
it. Putin has given July 2018 as deadline for new crypto rules to be part of
legislation. Russia’s interest in blockchain is in sharp contrast with its perception
towards crypto currency.
Implementation Proposal for Government of
For effective digital governance or as you say e-govenance
requires citizen engagement with the government to be transparent, accountable,
bi-directional and of low-friction. Blockchain more or less is a great enabler
of such an engagement.
Blockchain, an immutable distributed ledger, guarantees
amongst different entities that do not trust each other that they will see the same
ledger. There are certain core attributes of blockchain that could be used very
intuitively for e-governance:
Solid cryptographic guarantees: A public key is used to
uniquely identify each user in the system. Users digitally signs all
transactions, thereby authenticating them and at the same time disallowing
deniability of their actions.
Transparency and Auditability: The data over blockchain
is accessible to all the stakeholders in the network and typically is used for verifying
transactions. The access does not mean breach of data privacy since the
verification data is simply a cryptographic hash of the relevant information
and not the data itself.
Irreversible transaction ledger: The blocks on the blockchain
and the transactions within them are unchallengeable. It is computationally not
feasible to alter the past on a blockchain without being detected. This creates
a very robust audit trail.
Decentralized control: As of the decentralized attribute of Blockchain
technology it prevents a single entity from controlling or modifying the data
on the blockchain. All transactions in the blockchain need a distributed
consensus across all stakeholder for them to become part of the shared ledger.
Smart Contracts: Smart Contracts are
programs that run over blockchain fabric and their integrity and execution is
intricately linked with this fabric. Rules can be enforced around data exchange
and transaction on a blockchain using Smart contracts.