One of Russia’s largest financial institutions is in discussions to join a domestic bank consortium that would study blockchain technology.

Announced in April, the consortium effort is being led by Russian payments firm Qiwi and international consulting firm Accenture. Banks said to be participating in the initiative, according to government news source TASS, include B&N Bank, MDM Bank, Bank of Khanty-Mansiysk and Tinkoff Bank.

President of Sberbank German Gref remarked late last week that talks about the consortium remain in early stages.

Gref said:

“We are now discussing this with the Central Bank. If the Central Bank [and] all participants agree, then we are definitely going to participate, but we are in active negotiations.”

The news comes at a time when Russia-based financial firms are becoming more ambitious in their plans for blockchain technology.

Qiwi, for example, recently said it could transition to a blockchain settlement system within five years. Elsewhere, the National Settlement Depository, the country’s sole central securities depository, is testing applications for the tech in its operations.

Image credit: Vladimir Wrangel /

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