It seems like Russian government is about to introduce big technological changes into the national banking system by implementing blockchain into its Financial Communications Transfer System (SPFS). The Russian central bank is planning to make the switch sometime in 2019, according to local media source Izvestia.
The decision to search for alternative money transfer system was motivated by the mounting political and economic pressure on Russia, which wants to be prepared for possible discontinuation of SWIFT transactions. The SPFS system, which was developed back in 2014, aims to do exactly that. Another measure designed to increase Russian economic independence is the introduction of Mir cards, essentially domestic VISA substitutes.
The switch to blockchain technology is expected to make SPF much more secure, according to the source in the Bank of Russia. Russia’s central bank has yet to announce the type of blockchain that is going to be used, the options being using a proprietary blockchain or adopting one of existing public Ethereum platforms as a foundation.
Interestingly, SPFS is sometimes capable of providing cheaper transactions that SWIFT system, with fees as low as 0.02 euro.