Russian railway turns to blockchain for smart contracts and ticket sales

The Russian government is expected to adopt new legislation regulating cryptocurrency by the end of this month, as parliament is currently reviewing three relevant bills, but in the meantime the official railway company RZD already has plans to implement blockchain applications, smart contracts and ticket sales in digital currency.

“In view of the forthcoming adoption of the drafts, which entail the possibility to exchange digital financial assets with rubles and [foreign] currencies, RZD plans to introduce decentralised storage of data based on blockchain technology and implement ‘smart contracts,’” says Pavel Tarentyev, an independent IT expert, adding that this will help to significantly reduce costs.

He adds that these plans could lead to a complete automation of the railway firm’s contractual relations and fulfilment of contract terms using cryptocurrency. The plan is to issue up to 5,000 smart contracts a month.

He also says that RZD will in the future begin to allow customers to pay for tickets with cryptocurrency, which would provide anonymity to passengers and their travel arrangements. In March, RZD IT Head Evgeniy Charkin announced the company’s intentions to implement the new technology and RZD Director General Oleg Belozerov said the company was already digitising many processes.

The state-owned Swiss Federal Railways has been selling cryptocurrency to its passengers for almost two years now, and Bitcoin can purchased at any of its 1,000 ticket vending machines, although train passes cannot be bought with tokens.

There are, however, various websites where tickets can be bought with cryptocurrency, such as Destinia, which sells tickets around the world, including Spain, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, United Kingdom, France, Portugal, Netherlands, Canada, and the United States.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.

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