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Blockchain Could Help Rail Eclipse Road, Says Russian Tech Chief

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read

A Russian railway executive has talked of the possibility of adopting blockchain technology on the nation’s rail network.

Source: Adobe/serjiob74

Per Vgudok, Sergey Vinogradov, the Director-General of the Scientific Research Institute of Railway Transport, spoke of the virtues of blockchain technology – stating that Russian Railways, the national, state-owned rail operator, may soon seek to begin smart contract-powered business.

The institute is the main tech advisory body on railways – and is closely affiliated with Russian Railways.

Vinogradov stated that blockchain platforms could also allow logistics firms, buyers and vendors to purchase cargo spaces on Russian trains and help “build logistics chains more efficiently.”

Using smart contracts and blockchain technology, he added, would also allow Russian Railways to reduce costs by making reductions in “the turnover of platforms and containers,” as well as cutting down on supply costs for wagon management.

He added that it would also help the operator use a “dynamic pricing of transportation.”

Vinogradov said,

“This will make it possible to effectively respond to a decrease or increase in demand from the transport and logistics market, taking into account factors like seasonal irregularities in transportation and market fluctuations.”

Blockchain technology, he opined, would allow for more effective bulk transport by rail.

Freight rail customers could also expect to save on costs, reduce the chance of risk or damage.

He added that a more competitive rail logistics industry – powered by blockchain technology – would also help cut down on road-based alternatives. The latter, he said, are often more expensive and more environmentally unfriendly.

And he added that even passenger train operators could make effective use of blockchain technology.

Last year, Russian Railways began exploring the use of blockchain technology as a means of tracking commercial passengers who qualify for discounted services. The operator struck a cooperation deal with the Russian Pension Fund.

Elsewhere in the world, JR East, one of Japan’s busiest rail operators, last year began experimenting with a crypto pay platform that allows passengers to pay for their journeys in popular tokens such as bitcoin (BTC).
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