Russian Payments Firm Qiwi Launches Blockchain Subsidiary
Russian payments firm Qiwi has created a new subsidiary that will focus on blockchain development and consulting.
The group, called Qiwi Blockchain Technology, will focus on developing in-house blockchain solutions and also providing external consultation services to clients, according to a report by Kommersant. The new entity will reportedly receive 100 million rubles for its 2017 operating expenses.
The firm has already developed a payment system that utilizes the tech, the publication said, and it intends to pursue additional projects in collaboration with prospective clients.
According to a rough translation, Alexey Arkhipov, who leads Qiwi's crypto-technology development, told Kommersant:
"We are ready to make joint projects with external customers."
Further, the company is said to be looking at whether to develop products around the Bank of Russia’s blockchain project, dubbed Masterchain, which was originally unveiled last October.
According to Arkhipov, Qiwi Blockchain Technology is already working with three companies to implement blockchain solutions, though the names of those companies were not disclosed. However, he mentioned that potential use cases were shareholder registration and data storage.
Qiwi has been an early adopter of blockchain and vocal proponent of its widespread use. Sergey Solonin, its CEO, is head of the Russian FinTech Association, an initiative backed by the Russian central bank. Qiwi, a member of distributed ledger consortium R3, has previously signaled its intention to deploy the tech internally.
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