Russian railway company RZD may turn out to be a state-owned giant that does not shy away from technological advances brought about by cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. According to media reports, Russian Railways is planning to implement blockchain applications, smart contracts and ticket sales in crypto. Both company officials and independent experts have spoken about the advantages for logistics and transportation services.
RZD Aims at 5,000 Smart Contracts a Month
According to several publications in recent months and this week, the huge state-run enterprise is seriously considering to embrace crypto-related applications such as smart contracts and blockchain technologies, and may even start selling tickets for cryptocurrency. Russian Railways, which is proudly calling itself "The Strongest Link in Eurasia," is ranking among the top three railway systems in the world. The adoption of these innovations by RZD would be a strong boost for the Russian crypto sector.
What stands in the way is the lack of regulations, a situation that is about to change soon. The State Duma, the lower house of Russia's parliament, has supported on first reading three draft laws aimed at legalizing the crypto industry in the country. The bills – "On Digital Financial Assets," "On Attracting Investments Using Investment Platforms" and "On Digital Rights" – hit the house floor last week and should be adopted by the end of June.
"In view of the forthcoming adoption of the drafts, which entail the possibility to exchange digital financial assets with rubles and [foreign] currencies, OAO 'RZD' plans to introduce decentralized storage of data based on blockchain technology and implement 'smart contracts'," said Pavel Tarentyev, an independent IT expert. Speaking to Fedpress, he explained that this could lead to full automation of RZD's contractual relations and fulfillment of contract terms using cryptocurrency. Russian Railways intends to issue up to 5,000 smart contracts a month, he added.