Ethereum blockchain platform is to open a Blockchain research center in Skolkovo (Russia’s counterpart of Silicon Valley), and partner with Acronis data management company, as reported by the Russian

On Monday, Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum platform, hosted the “Ethereum Russia 2016” conference in Skolkovo, which was also attended by the representatives of QIWI payment processor, AlmazCapital venture fund, IBM, Waves, and Acronis.

The conference was dedicated to “the most recent and significant topics in the Blockchain industry”.

Skolkovo Blockchain research center

After the event, Ethereum and the Skolkovo Foundation announced plans to jointly open a special center for blockchain technology research and testing. They expect that the center’s activity will facilitate the introduction of blockchain tech to the financial, banking and state sectors, as well as the industry of commodity exchange. Another purpose of the center is to support IT projects and startups working with blockchain technology.

Igor Bogachev, the Vice President of Skolkovo, says:

“The Skolkovo Foundation, in co-operation with Ethereum, will organize the selection and acceleration of promising projects and teams, and provide support to blockchain startups in the form of tax benefits and grants. The development center will not only be able to satisfy the current demands of the state and business, but also the future ones: Internet of Things micropayments, complex smart contracts execution, creation of hybrid platforms and state registers of any kind.”

gor Bogachev, the Vice President of Skolkovo

Today, Ethereum is serving a number of international banks, including Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Barclays, and JP Morgan, as well as the Microsoft company, and others.

Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum, has claimed that the Russian market “poses great interest and provides a large potential for further development of Ethereum and the launch of new fintech projects”.

Buterin says:

“Ethereum has already proven its functionality on the Global market, and now we are focused on expanding our presence and attracting Russian programmers to work on the Ethereum platform.”

Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum

Partnership with Acronis

Within the framework of the announced Acronis-Ethereum partnership, the companies are going to develop a secure solution for data storage and transfer, based on the blockchain platform. The partners have already launched a demo version of the product.

They expect that it will ensure the privacy of operation by distributing the digital records of different kinds of events between multiple participants and organizations, thus protecting the data from tampering. The technology will be able to be used for protecting property and financial assets registries, medical records, data archival systems, and many other kinds of data.

Buterin has remarked that Ethereum technology is capable of “much more than simple cryptocurrency transactions”, due to its ability to ensure the “security and integrity of data and its independence from a single point of failure”.

Struggle of cryptocurrencies in Russia

Serguei Beloussov, Founder and CEO of Acronis, expects that blockchain technology will allow to “achieve an unprecedented level of data integrity, confidentiality and control.”

Beloussov says:

“The emergence of working solutions will allow people to truly realize the potential of blockchain in data protection applications.”

The news comes at a confusing time for cryptocurrencies in Russia. Among the news of Russia’s largest bank adopting blockchain, and the nation’s law enforcement considering further criminalization of Bitcoin, it is unclear what is to be expected in the near future.

The news about Ethereum working in close co-operation with Russia’s principal technology hub may be a sign of the cryptocurrencies finally moving into the legal field.

20 May 2016 update:

After an update issued by on Wednesday, it has become known that there is another person heavily involved with the announced blockchain research center in Skolkovo. Vladislav Martynov, the CEO of Yota Devices, a Russian LTE equipment manufacturer, is one of the members of the Ethereum supervisory board in Skolkovo.

Here is what Martynov had to say about the announcement:

“We have set several goals before us in Russia. Firstly, we want to popularize the blockchain technology and explain its revolutionary potential in practical solutions: banks, insurance companies, logistics, state agencies.

Secondly, we want to stimulate Russian companies, such as Acronis, Kaspersky Lab, Yandex, and others, to implement the support for Ethereum platform in the future versions of their products, wherever feasible.

Thirdly, we would like to facilitate the development of the local programmers’ community - so that not only large companies, but also startups would start showing active interest in the technology.”