Russia's FinTech Association, established in part to encourage wider exploration of distributed ledger tech, has appointed Qiwi chief Sergey Solonin as its new CEO.
Solonin will now lead the consortium effort, a role that will find him coordinating R&D efforts with the Bank of Russia, Sberbank, VTB Bank, Alfa Bank, Gazprombank, Bank Otkritie and the National System of Payment Cards (NSPK).
According to a release from the group, the consortium members will explore applications including digital identity, distributed ledgers and open APIs.
Solonin said in the statement:
"The concept behind the association is оne-of-a-kind in Russia and unionizes not only our market participants, but also our regulator and the experts in communications and technology platforms."
For Qiwi, one of Russia's largest payment firms, the move marks a milestone in its efforts to launch a blockchain and distributed ledger working group in the country, which began in April 2016.
The firm is also now a member of R3CEV, a global banking consortium focused on blockchain and distributed ledger efforts.
To date, Qiwi has been among the more active firms in its efforts to explore blockchain, building a processing system based on the technology and experimenting with its own digital currencies as early as 2015.
Qiwi app image via Facebook