Vnesheconombank’s Centre of Blockchain Competencies to Establish an International Legal Practice Laboratory, Legal Lab

Vnesheconombank’s Centre of Blockchain Competencies in cooperation with international partners has announced the inauguration of a legal practice laboratory, Legal Lab. The objective of the Legal Lab is to create an international expert community with a view to developing a consistent approach to the regulation of new financial technology, in particular, blockchain technology, and adopting a consolidated position on a number of issues related to the global digital law. Among its core activities, the Legal Lab will offer legal advice to Russian blockchain companies on their integration into the most cryptoeconomy loyal jurisdictions.

At the First International Legal Forum, CryptoEnvironment, Vnesheconombank’s Centre of Blockchain Competencies entered into cooperation agreements with its partners from Switzerland, Kazakhstan and Belarus. The partnership implies a coordinated action to develop new financial technology. In particular, it provides for joint scientific, analytical and educational efforts and cooperation in the introduction of new financial technology, including distributed ledger technology, in state governance.

“Today, Russia is attractive to the global community as a country that is actively promoting crypto technology. Yet, the global trend is that blockchain technology has obviously hit up against the unprepared regulatory environment, and all the projects we try to fit in our existing processes exploit the blockchain potential to a couple of percent, at best. Apparently, there are clumsy attempts to change the regulatory environment with numerous working groups being established to engage in theoretical discussions and come up with pretty much the same slogans. Our intention is to bring together practising lawyers and process engineers on a single platform to figure out what is actually needed for substantial changes,” said Chairman of the Board at Vnesheconombank’s Centre of Blockchain Competencies and Advisor to Vnesheconombank’s Chairman Vladimir Dyomin speaking about the CryptoEnvironment Forum. “The Legal Lab will accumulate knowledge, test various approaches, aggregate information and forecast the outcomes. Obviously, such an institute has been much needed, and the market has welcomed the emergence of a full-fledged law centre on the basis of the blockchain commune.”

“Our strategy is to put Russia on the global agenda for the digital law and new technology regulation. Our first partners include experts from the countries engaged in active search for and introduction of new technology regulation mechanisms. In the short- and medium-term perspective, the Legal Lab intends to establish a platform to discuss a strategy for upgrading digital economy legislation in Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Belarus, elaborate a project of an intergovernmental regulatory sandbox for blockchain services, design a project on the tokenization of commodity exchange between the Eurasian Economic Union member states, and produce a customs digitization model. We also intend to increase our cooperation with expert groups at international organisations, in particular, OSCE, BRICS and APEC,” said Elina Sidorenko, Head of the Legal Lab.

“As a development institution, Vnesheconombank is tasked with creating a digital platform for tomorrow’s Russian economy essentially based on breakthrough technology. According to Vnesheconombank’s Chairman Sergey Gorkov, today, it is of strategic importance to promote core technological areas where Russia is able to attain global leadership. These include blockchains, quantum technology and convergent technology. To intensely introduce new technology, Vnesheconombank is setting up Russia’s global-level centres of competencies. Vnesheconombank’s Centre of Blockchain Competencies was set up in 2017 in compliance with the bank for development’s strategy for promoting Russian innovative technology. Two more centres—for quantum technology and convergent technology—are scheduled to open in 2018.

How quickly new technology come into use is essential to retaining Russia’s leadership in building tomorrow’s digital economy. Development of the regulatory framework for new technology has an important role to play in this process. The Legal Lab established on the basis of the Centre of Blockchain Competencies is an important step in compliance with Vnesheconombank’s ambitious programme designed to promote the ecosystem of innovation in Russia and help lay a legal foundation for the introduction of blockchain technology.

Press Office