Blockchain to Power Single Deposits Registry in Russia

Russia wants to create a blockchain-based registry that would include all the deposits from all banking institutions. The country's central bank will lead the project.

Russia aims to have a single registry of all depositors, and blockchain technology will be used to power it, local media outlet Izvestia reported on Thursday, citing unidentified sources.

The plan is to launch the registry next year in a project run by the Bank of Russia (BR) and the country’s Deposit Insurance Agency (DIA). Two bankers familiar with the matter confirmed the information for Izvestia.

There are currently no similar projects anywhere in the world. Local experts hope that a single registry of deposits would stop immoral bankers from destroying customer databases at the time of license revocation. Blockchain can boost transparency in the bank deposits market.

A source close to BR said that every time a person opens a deposit, the bank would record this information in the registry, which would be stored on BR’s server. Each block will incorporate data such as the bank name, depositor name, and the amount of the deposit. When a deposit is replenished or closed, the updates will be stored in the new registry.

Nobody would be able to delete or manipulate registry data, so all the information will be stored under secure conditions, according to a person close to the DIA. The new approach would preclude fraud such as banks “losing” depositor databases and leaving customers with no chances of obtaining insurance compensations.

DIA first deputy director Valery Miroshnikov earlier told Izvestia that “the central bank [BR] and the DIA employees have repeatedly faced a situation where, within three days, the ‘dead’ bank has managed to destroy the databases or take them out of the credit institution.”

Blockchain technology is known for its high degree of security and transparency. According to a BR insider, the institutions have yet to decide whether to use a platform provided by a third party or build one from scratch.

The creation of a single registry powered by blockchain will contribute to the growth of the local deposit market, the report said. Given the high level of security, clients will be more willing to open deposits. According to data from BR, the deposit market expanded by 7.4% in 2017 and hit 26 trillion rubles ($454 million).

Russia seems to be quite open to implementing new technologies. In October, communications minister Nikolay Nikiforov said that President Vladimir Putin planned to launch a national digital currency called the CryptoRuble.

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