Russia may soon have its own consortium of banks led by the country’s leading payment services provider QIWI.
It is no secret that Russia has mixed feelings about Bitcoin and other digital currencies. Call it paranoia or being extra cautious, the country has gone far enough to make exchanging bitcoin to ruble a crime. According to a recent legislation passed by the country’s finance ministry, anyone caught converting bitcoin to the country’s legal tender can face up to 4 years of imprisonment combined with a hefty fine. However, this has not stopped the country from exploring the technology behind bitcoin.
In multiple occasions, government officials including the President of Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin have expressed that the country will look into blockchain technology and its adoption into different sectors. Adoption of Bitcoin technology by Russian financial sector is now becoming a reality, especially after a piece of information about QIWI (NASDAQ: QIWI), the Russian payment service provider surfaced in various news articles. QIWI is putting together a consortium of Russian banking and financial companies with an intention of developing standards for the application of blockchain technology in these sectors.
According to Russian media outlets, the information about QIWI’s foray into blockchain technology was