Payments Service Qiwi Launches “First Crypto Investment Bank in Russia”

Omar Faridi
  • Qiwi Blockchain Technologies, an initiative of Russia’s largest payments service provider Qiwi, recently announced the launch of HASH, a crypto investment bank.
  • HASH is being promoted as “the first crypto investment bank in Russia” and will reportedly help clients manage their ICO projects, implement blockchain-based platforms, and offer professional consulting services.

Qiwi Blockchain Technologies (QBT), a subsidiary of Russia’s publicly traded payment service provider Qiwi, recently announced the launch of a cryptocurrency investment bank called “HASH.”

 Russian news outlet Kommersant reported the announcement on June 29 and revealed that HASH is set to follow a “classic investment banking model.” Moreover, the crypto investment will be used to develop a platform to help companies manage their ICO projects, according to Kommersant.

Constantine Kolstov, partner at QBT and head of corporate relations at HASH, stated:

We are going to make an international crypto bank providing trading services, research and ICO advisers. 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.

Constantine Kolstov

QBT’s chief financial officer (CFO) Yakov Barinsky confirmed that HASH will help blockchain and crypto startups “go through the fundraising stage.” The crypto investment project will also reportedly include funds from international investors who plan to add crypto assets to their portfolios.

Notably, Barinsky mentioned that his firm is currently working with 10 similar crypto investment funds and one of them has already generated $100 million.

QBT’s Crypto Trading Platform

The CFO added that part of the funds from HASH are to be used to launch a crypto trading platform for clients by 2019. Currently, QBT is also in the process of acquiring a license for operating a crypto trading desk. On July 1, the Russian government is scheduled to introduce its blockchain and crypto regulatory bill.

The HASH crypto investment is a noteworthy development as its parent company Qiwi is one of Russia’s leading payment processors, which also also serves clients in the U.S., United Arab Emirates, Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Moldova, and Romania. Qiwi is notably one of 39 international companies who have recently agreed to test R3 consortium’s know your customer (KYC) software.

Qiwi helped launch QBT in March 2017 by providing a 100 million ruble ($1.6 million) investment. The funds were then used to develop proprietary blockchain solutions and offer consulting services.

Qiwi also set up a privately run “Blockchain Academy” in July 2017 through a partnership with Scream School, a large IT education service provider. The online Blockchain Academy offers IT specialists a one-month course that covers the fundamentals of blockchain technology and guidance on how to develop blockchain-powered software.