Alexander Ivanov discussed “Russia and the Global Digital Agenda” in a panel session with other technology experts at the well-known event.
Waves continues its move onto the global stage with a presence at Davos this week, at the World Economic Forum.
The Swiss town that is currently hosting the annual meeting of the world’s political and financial elites — itself now simply known as ‘Davos’ — was the venue for Russian business and government leaders to meet and discuss what the technology has to offer with a wide range of participants. The panel discussion was live-streamed, with Waves CEO Alexander Ivanov discussing Russian innovations in a global marketplace.
A running theme in the discussion was the role that Russia has historically played in the tech industry, remaining at the forefront of new developments. Russia has always used new technologies to improve its society and infrastructure, including reducing crime, internet connectivity and smart management of traffic. Schools, businesses and citizens in general have benefited hugely from this trend and Moscow in particular is a trailblazer in these fields as a result.
Blockchain is one area in which Russia has positioned itself as a global leader, with AI and quantum technologies also being key areas. The state is now partnering in blockchain initiatives, alongside commercial entities, and it is important that both public and corporate organisations continue to invest. Alexander Borodich, founder of the Universa blockchain, was also present and spoke about the benefits and rapid development of blockchain technology, and the need for straightforward and user-friendly applications.
Unlike most of the other panellists, Alexander Ivanov opted to speak English, arguing that the global nature of blockchain tech required a globally-spoken language. He noted the huge hype around blockchain in Russia — the convergence of several factors, including the high quality of software engineers and the wide range of use cases. As a result, Russia is a great testing ground for blockchain, due to the much-needed efficiencies and transparency it can bring. He agreed with the other panellists that Russia could — and likely would — become the global leader of the blockchain space.
Blockchain has application far beyond cryptocurrencies and value transfer, from big data storage to voting, but adequate and intelligent regulation is critical. Big government state systems will ultimately be built on the blockchain. Nevertheless, this is the first year that mass adoption can be seen. The market is still small, despite its significant increase last year, and it is still right at the beginning of a far-reaching revolution.
In the question and answer session, Alexander noted the transparency of the blockchain meant that cryptocurrencies were not suited to avoiding sanctions — a popular question from journalists and uninformed critics. However, it could be a powerful tool to boost economic development.