On December 15th, we held our third annual professional Waves Enterprise conference about blockchain market development in Russia. During three panels 15 managers from top tech companies such as Sber, SAP, Alfa-Bank, Binance, and others, along with independent experts discussed the most prominent blockchain projects of 2021, prospectives of digital assets and cryptocurrencies in Russia, and using blockchain trends in business.
You can watch the conference in Russian on the official Youtube channel of Waves Enterprise or check its English wrap-up in this post.
In 2021 a number of blockchain-related technologies have reached the slope of enlightenment. The year was a breakthrough for enterprise and state blockchain integration. The volume of procurement in blockchain/distributed ledgers reached ₽1.8 bln — 9x more than in 2020. Waves Enterprise can boast a number of core projects such as Russian federal e-voting system, blockchain service to protect means of individualization in Roscosmos, a number of WE.Vote success stories and others.
Blockchain helps to develop various financial instruments, for example, for factoring. Decentralization can really calm down the companies that doubt sharing their data with intermediaries. One of these rapidly growing fintech platforms is Factorin.
Other nice business cases of blockchain include the platform of green energy certificates from Sber and the metallurgy supply platform from SAP. Here DLT prevents forging and repeated usage of certificates, and stores the whole life cycle of any item within. Platforms like these have the potential of becoming a standard instrument for whole industries nationwide.
Finally, an important use case here is marketplaces. Attracting all the parties, including banks, in a single decentralized environment, ensures the security of both sides. To make it work the way it should, we need to develop digital finances and wallet services.
But in all these cases blockchain integration can be rather complicated. Businesses don’t want to share their data with intermediaries, and the more restricted the clients are, the harder it is to make something sophisticated and blockchain-based. The second problem is the specific expertise of blockchain developers. This problem is solved in Waves Enterprise by providing SDK for language-agnostic development. Finally, integrating within security circuits can make debugging very time-consuming, so Waves Enterprise provides tools for easy blockchain diagnostics.
Today the Civil Code of the Russian Federation considers digital financial assets as property, not as money or securities, so you can easily buy and sell them. Unfortunately, with such a status digital financial assets can’t be used as a means of payment or securitization. Due to the lack of legislation, digital financial assets are often messed with digital currencies. As for cryptocurrencies, they can’t be used here as means of payment, but you can exchange them for rubles.
In 2022, amendments to the law on digital financial assets will be made, and this will increase the availability of assets. Issuing time will decrease down to 2–3 hours, and the assets will become a common instrument for any business. More opportunities will come with digital rouble: market democratization, extra liquidity, less intermediaries and so on. But Russia needs to develop a new tax policy here and instruments to protect the members of the market.
In terms of digital finances, we can expect Russia to get closer to the top tech countries like China or Singapore.
The biggest achievement of NFT in 2021 is mass adoption. This market became a common thing, available for everyone. More new talents, new artists can come and obtain recognition at new marketplaces. With these technologies, Russian artists can eliminate the gap between them and the rest of the art world. Still, NFT art is risky for investing, because you can’t predict it. Being an artist, you should actively contribute to your promotion, the market is already rather competitive.
NFT market is very flexible, so it can provide new opportunities for “offline stars” like famous musicians and sportsmen, and for museums — this year Hermitage sold 5 pictures as NFTs at Binance and got $500 mln.
GameFi projects form a new big market, and in the future, it will even profit national budgets through converting to fiat money. New economics, both closed and open, are globally developed with the help of metaverses. The biggest sensation here is play-to-earn projects, where people get tokens while playing and then sell these tokens at exchanges.
As one of the leading blockchain providers in Russia, we are excited to see the market developing so fast. Big projects appear regularly, the legislation is updating, and new trends do find their place in the sun. It will be very interesting to watch all of these in 2022, and, of course, be a part of it.