Russian universities ready to test blockchain-based analog of SWIFT, the global payment messaging network Russian banks were cut off from as part of Western sanctions
Developers say their system will not allow countries or banks to disconnect.
Russian Developers Use Blockchain to Create SWIFT Alternative
Experts from the Competence Center of the National Technology Initiative of Russia’s St. Petersburg State University announced that they are preparing to trial a new interbank payment system to replaceSWIFT
“A pilot version of the distributed interbank financial messaging system has been prepared for testing and is ready for use by banks,” the university said in a statement. Those behind the project, who specialize in the field of distributed ledgers, employed blockchain technology to create the platform.
Alexander Kirev, the center’s technical director, said that preliminary tests have shown good results. Transfer rates now exceed 25,000 messages per second on a single node, and network capacity can be increased in the future.
Quoted by Russian crypto news outlet Bits.media, the university detailed that the platform could scale up and integrate new financial organizations. Its representatives also stressed that it is impossible to disconnect participating states and banking institutions, since each client has the same rights and access as any other client.
The use of distributed ledgers for the exchange of financial messages across borders allows for secure and reliable transactions, the developer team noted. Theirs is the second blockchain-based project to replace SWIFT in Russia, following a similar platform announced in June by state-owned tech giant Rostec to facilitate international payments between Russia and its partners.
Russia also has a more traditional SWIFT equivalent, the System for Transfer of Financial Messages (SPFS), which was launched amid similar tensions after the annexation of Crimea in 2014. According to the report, about 70 organizations in more than a dozen countries are already connected to the SPFS. In addition, Rostec’s CELLS platform aims to enable international payments, multi-currency transactions, and digital currency storage.
As military intervention in Ukraine continues, the Russian Federation is increasingly disconnected from the global financial system, including its foreign currency reserves. In response, Moscow is attempting to shift to settlements in its own currency with its trading partners, while also exploring the possibility of using cryptocurrencies for international payments.
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