Russian blockchain sent back for fixing

The roadmap for the end-to-end distributed ledger technology development has critical flaws and needs to be improved, the Russian government, experts and large companies concluded during the Global Technology Leadership Forum in Sochi.

The roadmap for the Russian blockchain, among seven other roadmaps on digital technologies, was given a closed stress test at the forum to identify their problem points. That proved the right thing to do, as in addition to the blockchain one, the roadmap on quantum sensors and quantum metrology failed the tests, and was also sent back for improvement.

“We have sent the two roadmaps back for a major revision. We know that lot of intellectual work has been put into them, but nevertheless we believe that the organizational mechanisms proposed are insufficient and the support measures not specific enough,” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Maxim Akimov said at the Sochi forum.

The other five roadmaps have been approved in general; furthermore, the basic solutions included in them were also supported, the Deputy Prime Minister added. As for the two flawed roadmaps, the ones on quantum computing and artificial intelligence, the developers were asked to do additional research.

“We asked them to tweak a few things there,” Maxim Akimov said.

He noted that all the roadmaps have flaws, but added that the government as a public partner is very satisfied with the companies’ work, including private companies and firms co-owned by the state, involved in their development.

“During the first year, we will focus on expanding the offer funnel, not on using state support. Is it not a good decision to allocate huge resources to the existing research and development teams, and to the existing startup system,” Akimov said.

Seven roadmaps have been developed since last summer as part of the agreements between the Russian government and large supervising companies. The roadmaps cover the period until 2024, and each of them is focused on the development of one high-tech area.

Thus, Sberbank is responsible for the roadmap for AI technology, Rostelecom and the Rostec state corporation for wireless communications roadmap, Russian Railways for quantum communications, while Rosatom will deal with quantum computing.  Rostec was responsible for the blockchain and quantum sensors that were sent back for improvement following the stress tests. The corporation also supervises the Internet of Things area; a relevant roadmap has been approved.

Maxim Akimov also outlined the main technology areas that will determine the development of the digital economy in Russia. They include the augmented and virtual reality, robotics, sensor-making, 5G, blockchain and the so called quantum technology package. RUR 258 bln ($4 bln) will be allocated from the federal budget; plans also call for using at least RUR 50 bln of private funds per year.

By Olga Blinova

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