Sberbank Chief Herman Gref has said industrial-scale Blockchain deployment in Russia will be possible before the end of 2019.

Speaking at the Real Estate Market Innovation Conference, Gref said that although the timeframe was “perhaps a little optimistic,” it was nonetheless workable.

“Two to two-and-a-half years is the timeframe in which we could be talking about seeing Blockchain technology commercially operating,” he announced.

Gref also said that prime minister Dmitry Medvedev had given the go-ahead for a working group to be created for the purposes of studying Blockchain applications.

“The prime minister of the Russian Federation has signed off on the creation of a special working group, headed by First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, focusing on ways to assimilate Blockchain technology,” he stated.

Speaking about the technology itself, Gref added that he assumed it would affect “literally all industries.”

Gref’s words curiously run in contrast to Sberbank’s own deputy chairman Vadim Kulik. As local cryptocurrency resource Forklog notes, in January Kulik went on record to state that Blockchain could be in use as early as next year.