Vladimir Potanin’s Nornickel, which is short for Norilsk Nickel, will be launching a token that will represent the value of palladium. The Russian metals giant will also reportedly launch an exchange.
Coindesk acquired an exclusive interview with the CEO, who is worth north of $19 billion, in New York recently.
The new token will act as a type of stablecoin, backed by the rare metal palladium. Palladium is just over $1525 an ounce at time of writing.
During the meet, Potanin gave an interesting tidbit to his interviewer: he, one of the wealthiest men in Russia, essentially has friends in common with Vitalik Buterin‘s father.
Potanin’s all about metal, but in more recent times he’s begun to consider more, shall we say, ethereal assets.
From Bullion to Blockchain
The multi-billionaire credits Vitalik Buterin with his interest the budding digital asset economy. Coindesk quotes him as saying:
“The knowledge of what he is doing and what he has achieved, of course, encouraged me that the young generation is moving in that direction. [I thought] I should be aware of what they’re doing and why, and I should benefit from this experience.”
Potanin says there are a myriad of ways his company can use blockchain technology.
The oligarch made his money during the collapse of the Soviet Union, when a few choice government programs made it possible for today’s Russian elite to make their bones.
Nornickel would like to be as paperless as possible, and blockchain technology is one secure way to do that. Relying on centralized databases can put critical information at risk.
Moreover, building on blockchain, especially as regards payments, can reduce costs on both sides of a transaction.
Russia’s government has yet to pass definitive blockchain legislation, but a proposed bill would make it illegal for people without a degree in economics to trade crypto.
Nornickel’s blockchain token, which will be created and launched by IBM using HyperLedger, won’t be the first big blockchain project to come from Russia.
Telegram, the massive messaging platform, will soon launch a blockchain called the Telegram Open Network.
During the ICO boom of 2017, a number of eastern European projects were funded, including Lithuanian-based Universa.