Blockchain for business, AI experiment in Moscow, support in the industry and other news

ICT.Moscow’s weekly news digest

Different studies show that the interest in practical blockchain solutions in Russia and all over the world does not decline. According to IZZZIO platform’s estimates, on average, world blockchain market increases by 60% every year, and, Waves Enterprise forecasts that in 2022 it will reach $12.4 billion.

Experts note that companies test and implement blockchain technologies in business processes more actively every year. According to Qiwi Blockchain Technologies, the value of corporate blockchain solutions market in Russia in 2018 was estimated at 1.5 billion rubles, and in 2019 it grew to 4 billion rubles. The number of corporate blockchain projects in Russia in the first half of 2019 increased by 45% compared to the same period of 2018, says Artem Kalikhov from Waves Enterprise.

“According to our projections, in 2020–2021 practical use of blockchain in business processes of corporations and public sector will become a technology trend”.

Artem Kalikhov, chief Product offices at Waves Enterprise

Ivan Maslov from Bifury also spoke about corporate sector’s growing interest in blockchain.

“Today not only innovators, but also more cautious players are implementing blockchain. The market also demands creating industry platform solutions for accelerating significantly the cooperation in the industry”.

Ivan Maslov, Head of Development, Bitfury Russia

According to Mindsmith analysis, in Russia among the launched blockchain project most common are the projects for supply chain control, optimizing document flow, processing payments and also projects for traditional financial instruments tokenization. Read more details about implementation of blockchain solutions in business in our knowledge base, which also includes a catalog of ready blockchain products from Moscow developers, market analytics and presentations on the topic.

Blockchain implementation examples

In retail: in May 2018 Obuv Rossii company started to use blockchain in IT systems to protect data of standing customers purchasing goods on credit or by installments. All data about interaction with clients was encrypted, distributed and stored in the company’s three data centers.

In healthcare: in December 2019 Shandong University of Finance and Alibaba Cloud created a blockchain-based platform, which allows doctors to check patients’ symptoms and control diangnostics data in real time integrating patients data from medical records. Now in China the system is provided to clinics free of charge.

In real estate: since February 2018 Polis Group has been registering real estate transactions using blockchain. In 2019 apartment purchase transactions in all apartment complexes of Polis Group were registered using blockchain technology (about 1050 transactions).

Healthcare, finance, industry and transport are the top-priority industries for implementing artificial intelligence, as was concluded by ANO Data Economy after a series of interviews with experts, IT companies representatives and authorities. The most active industries in implementing AI are finance, oil and gas industry, transport and municipal services.

City of artificial intelligence

Moscow has come ever closer to the AI experiment. This week the State Duma adopted the draft law in the two final readings taking into consideration the amendments in the draft about special legal regulation in the capital for developing and implementing AI technologies. According to the law, legal bodies and self-employed entrepreneurs listed on a respective register can test Ai technologies under special conditions since July 1 during a five-year period.

Read how business defines artificial intelligence and what technologies are regarded as AI in our materials.

Support in the industry

While the Ministry of Communications is working on supporting measures for IT industry, the companies continue to help each other. HSE business incubator and Boomstarter crowdfunding platform launched a joint project for entrepreneurs which is intended for startups and those who want to scale up business. Sberbank opened a project to help entrepreneurs search for new solutions and transform business from offline to online. The companies will be able to get consultations and a set of measures for optimizing processes. Meanwhile, Skolkovo residents will have an opportunity to attract business partners from abroad online.

This week two Moscow services for collective investment announced suspension of activities. The first one was StartTrack crowdinvesting platform, which claimed it indefinitely suspended operation. The next company to follow StartTrack was JetLend. Another platform Town Money (Gorod Deneg) will stop to give loans to companies engaged in services and entertainment sector at least until May.

Telecom news

The Ministry of Communications agreed with the statements of operators and proposed to make 3.4–3.8 GHz range the main for 5G rollout. Nevertheless, the authorities claimed only about 40–80 MHz can be freed up, depending on where these frequencies will be used. According to experts, the band proposed by the Ministry in 3.4–3.8 GHz range is not enough for 5G communications.

In order to help entrepreneurs MTS created an online map of small-size businesses now operating in the capital. It is aimed at companies switching to the new online format.

Rashid Ismailov, former Deputy Minister of Communications, can become President of Vimpelcom, according to Vedomosti. Since 2015, this position is held by Alexander Krupnov. In February Vasyl Latsanych left the position of CEO, and in the beginning of April Alexander Torbakhov, who has returned to the company, replaced him.