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The Russian Association of Corporate Treasurers is working together with the Russian central bank on a blockchain initiative, joining the government-led Masterchain blockchain initiative, a platform developed by the Russian central bank to facilitate communication within the national banking system.

Aim is to use the platform to replace SWIFT’s inter-bank communication network and thus reducing operating costs by up to five times.

Reports noted that the initiative is also looking to develop a mechanism for digital identities, enabling financial institutions to share underwriting information like credit histories, as well as information about fraud cases, via a secure platform.

Motivation seems to be Russian fears SWIFT may remove Russia from its system, after the European Union sanctioned Russia for its annexation of Crimea.

Russia is said to have taken aggressive steps to become a global leader in blockchain technology, openly expressing a desire to lead the world on the technology.

“Look, the internet belongs to the Americans – but blockchain will belong to us”, a Russian representative is quoted. Recent reports emerged Russian president Vladimir Putin to have considered investing in Ethereum.

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