One of the largest e-payment providers in Russia, Qiwi, is launching a crypto investment bank, called HASH, to advise investors and help Russian companies tokenize their assets. As far as its local turf is concerned, the company — and all other local players, for that matter — are awaiting for appropriate regulations, but for the company’s global ambitions – the sky is the limit.
Let’s take a look what this new business is all about, shall we?
A suite of services
HASH was launched as a new business based on the e-payment provider’s fintech subsidiary Qiwi Blockchain Technology, which itself was created in March 2017. It will offer a suite of services, helping clients with their ICOs, assisting them in building their blockchain networks and raise funds. The company has already partnered with fintech companies around the world — including Bitfury Capital, Itech, InVenture, Target Global, Hosho, Wings, and RootStock.
“We are going to make an international crypto bank providing trading services, research and ICO advisers.” Constantine Koltsov, partner at Qiwi Blockchain Technology, said in a statement. “When the proper regulation is in place, we are going to help companies from traditional sectors of economy, like natural resources and heavy industry, to raise money through ICOs.”
Additionally, HASH will advise financial institutions on the quality of crypto-assets they are considering buying, which includes the new tokens issued in ICOs.
The company is reportedly already working with a major private oil and gas company on launching an ICO to raise $20 million, though no names have been named.
ICOs are said to be helpful at a time when major Russian banks are under sanctions, and can have difficulty borrowing money from the West.
Also, HASH has global ambitions, with plans to offer its services to just about anyone willing to take the “blockchain plunge.” And while it awaits for appropriate regulations in Russia, HASH will invite Russian investors to participate in various ICOs it will help setup.
More on that blockchain subsidiary
As noted above, Qiwi Blockchain Technology was created to focus on blockchain development and consulting. It has worked — and is still working — on developing in-house blockchain solutions and also providing external consultation services to clients.
The firm has already developed a payment system that utilizes the technology, and intends to pursue additional projects in collaboration with prospective clients.
At the time of the announcement, Qiwi Blockchain Technology has started working with three companies to implement blockchain solutions, though the names of those companies were not disclosed. We do know that among the potential use cases were shareholder registration and data storage.
Qiwi has been an early adopter of blockchain and vocal proponent of its widespread use. The company’s CEO, Sergey Solonin, heads the Russian FinTech Association. Qiwi is also a member of distributed ledger consortium R3.