Vladimir Putin meets with founder of Ethereum project Vitalik Buterin
It is no secret that the internet revolution passed by Russia. The internet is seen largely as an American invention and many of the world’s most valuable companies are US internet based companies. Vladimir Putin is determined to ensure that Russia is at the heart of the next technology revolution in the hope that his country can achieve it’s economic goals. He has stumbled across Ethereum and I am sure took pride from the fact that Vitalik was born and spent the first 6 years of his life in Russia. The two of the met in the sidelines of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum last week. The exchange we brief but one quote from Vitalik I loved was ‘...I fully intend to refuse any requests to facilitate dictating, killing or oppressing people.’. The whole nature of blockchain is to be open, transparent, decentralised, incorruptible and uncensorable. So its going to be very interesting to watch the Russia bend itself out of shape as it tries to embrace blockchain while at the same time hang onto its very controlled opaque and centralised economy. Will it’s ambition for economic superiority outweigh its hunger for domestic power and control. We shall wait and see. A video of the St Petersburg round table with Russia is here. (you can spot Vitalik as he is the only person at the meeting not wearing a coat and tie (and under the age of 25)!).