Vitalik Buterin, a co-founder of Ethereum has recently announced that he created an entity separate from the Ethereum Foundation, Ethereum Russia, and plans to use this to collaborate with Russian banks and universities.
As of now, Ethereum Russia is partnered with one university, The National University of Science and Technology (MISIS) as well as one bank, namely Vnesheconombank (VEB) but there is a lot of promise for Vitalik’s new partnerships in Russia.
Just recently Russia seemingly did a 180° in terms of cryptocurrencies during the past few years going from outlawing them to seemingly adopting them in terms of this new, high profile partnership between Ethereum Russia and VEB as well as MISIS can bring mainstream, or simply more widespread adoption of Ethereum or other cryptocurrencies.
Furthermore, this partnership with Russian entities is not expected to undermine the Ethereum Foundation due to conflicts of interest, because Ethereum Russia is separate from the foundation. This allows Ethereum Russia to collaborate with corporations and governments while leaving the overarching foundation pure.
This partnership with Russian organizations can certainly be good news for Ethereum, and cryptos in general, especially if it leads to more mainstream adoption. However, it must be noted that Ethereum must stay distant from any conflicts of interest, if not they risk undermining their own credibility, which will likely lead to more of an inherent distrust of government in the crypto community.