Russia: Banking Giant Sberbank Taps Blockchain to Tokenize Travel Agent Payments


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Russia is looking to automate travel agency payments using blockchain technology.

Using Smart Contracts to Automate Payments

According to a report by local outlet Air Transport Review, Russia’s S7 Airlines has inked a partnership with the country’s largest bank, Sberbank, to fully automate travel agency payments through distributed ledger technology (DLT).

The integration will enable travel agents with an account with Sberbank to tokenize their money and transfer to S7 airlines. This way, the travel agent won’t be required to provide bank guarantees or pay in advance, the report reads.

Although the integration essentially involves the tokenization of money held in Sberbank accounts, it is not, in our knowledge, being called Sbercoin or anything similar which rules out the possibility of the tokens being in the same category as the famed JPMCoin, and others.

Commenting on the development, Anatoly Popov, Deputy Chairman, Sberbank, noted:

“The use of a virtual unit of account allowed Sberbank to solve a number of technical problems and create a universal tokenization platform, in which the process of issuing tokens is just one of many possibilities. At the same time, the process of ‘conversion’ is rather technical in nature, can occur seamlessly and imperceptibly for the user.”

Notably, both the S7 Airline platform and the Sberbank tokenization solution are developed on top of Hyperledger Fabric.

What is Hyperledger?

For the uninitiated, Hyperledger is an umbrella project of open-source blockchains and related tools started in December 2015 by Linux Foundation and comprises the likes of IBM, Intel, and SAP among its contributors.

To date, a wide range of blockchain projects has partnered and built on Hyperledger to tap the latter’s innovative and cutting-edge open-source distributed ledger solutions.

For instance, last year major South Korean telecom giant SK Telecom launched an enterprise blockchain platform called STONledger on Hyperledger Fabric.

Similarly, in November last year, the IOTA team announced it had integrated Tangle into the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain network to support more permissionless features, including fee-less payments.

On a recent note, smart-contract platform Cardano (ADA) parent firm IOHK allied with Hyperledger to contribute to its growing suite of blockchain projects while providing visibility and sharing components of IOHK’s interoperable framework.

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