The Central Bank of Russia evaluates the Ethereum system for payments

Russia’s Central Bank is considering using its Masterchain chain of chain program to transmit SWIFT financial messages through the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), an official said on Tuesday.

The Russian FinTech Association, formed under the supervision of the central bank, successfully carried out a trial version of the Ethereum software in 2016 and completed an operational version of it in 2017.

“An active discussion is taking place, and we are studying several quality technologies, including Masterchain,” said Olga Skorobogatova, first vice president of the Central Bank of Russia, according to the Russian news agency Tass.

Skorobogatova explained that Masterchain is under consideration in the context of a broader examination of how the blockchain could create a “supranational infrastructure” for payments within the EAEU, allowing member states to “dodge” existing payment systems.

The Bank intends to operate its platform of choice within Russia first, then implementing it as a whole EAEU system.

As to when further deliberation on Masterchain could take place, Skorobogatova commented: “I think we will discuss the options regarding this project as early as this year.”

The Central Bank of Russia has actively participated in the block and cryptocurrency chain space, and has adopted a particularly strict approach with respect to the latter. In 2017, it issued warnings about the risks associated with investments in encryption and supported efforts to block websites that sell cryptocurrencies in the country.