Publicly traded Russian payments service provider QIWI (NASDAQ: QIWI) has established Qiwi Blockchain Technologies LLC (QBT), a company focused on developing blockchain-related products.
According to QIWI’s director for cryptotechnologies Alexei Arkhipov, who is also the CEO of the newly established entity, QIWI intends to invest 100 million rubles (approximately $1.7 mln) over 2017.
Arkhipov added that QBT would engage in developing and implementing blockchain technologies in QIWI’s payments ecosystem. The company also has plans to render consulting and audit services to third parties.
The QBT team develops a cryptoprocessing solution for QIWI. The solution has already undergone testing, and is about to be integrated now. The company has had three orders to develop blockchain-based products so far.
“We’re ready to have joint projects with third party customers,” Arkhipov said. “That’s their way of getting a blockchain technology and starting to use it right away, with no need of sorting out how to work with it.”
“If there’s a side project with a third party customer, the financing will follow case-by-case scheme,” Arkhipov added.
Arkhipov believes that aggregate cost of blockchain technology market in Russia currently stands at 300 to 500 million rubles (approximately $3 to $8 million).
Meanwhile, Artyom Duvanov, Innovations Director at the National Settlement Depository, says more and more businesses are getting involved in blockchain these days, with the demand for the technology steadily growing. Financial market players discuss cooperation in this area, which includes QIWI, he said.
“If QIWI as a company solves all technological issues and works with the platforms we consider fit-for-purpose, we’re ready to cooperate,” Duvanov noted.
Last month, QIWI’s CEO Sergei Solonin stated that payments between individuals would inevitably become free of charge in the future, citing blockchain technology amongst the solutions capable of ensuring high security of transactions whilst maintaining minimal costs.