Russia’s Biggest Payments System Qiwi to Open Crypto-Investment Bank


QBT, a daughter company of Russia’s largest electronic payments system Qiwi, announced it will launch the country’s first ever cryptocurrency investment bank. 

Russia’s First Cryptocurrency Investment Bank

The new company — which will operate under the brand-name HASH — will be registered in Russia, reports Russian news outlet Kommersant.

The project will be based on the classical investment bank model but will operate on global cryptocurrency markets. Head of QBT, Yakov Barinksyi, explained:

We will help companies go through the fundraising stage. It will be classic monetization: we will receive our commission after we help the company attract investment.

Barinskyi added that QBT — which was launched in March 2017 — will act as a technological subcontractor, while HASH will be responsible for developing the projects’ financial structure, such as determining token parameters, use-cases, and applications.

In other words, QBT will help companies raise capital through the increasingly popular Initial Coin Offering (ICO) model similar to established services like ICO Box and Draglet. However, it will provide its ICO-as-a-package service in accordance with Russian regulations — which are currently in development.

QBT says that it already has three ICOs on deck.

Banks are ‘Cautiously Optimistic’

The next step will see HASH attracting international capital funds specializing in cryptocurrencies. Barinskyi added that the project is already working with dozens of global crypto investment funds — the largest of which manages around $100 million USD.

Additionally, a subdivision of HASH will also be launched, which will be responsible for the sale of digital tokens. As such, it will be required to obtain a license, which it will apply for next year.

In whole, major players from the traditional investment banking industry received the QBT project with cautious optimism. Russia’s second-largest bank, VTB, for example, believes that interest in cryptocurrency markets will increase proportionally with the development of the accompanying legal framework currently in the works.

VTB representatives echoed Russia’s president Vladimir Putin in its support of blockchain technology, which it considers “well-suited for traditional corporate banking businesses as well as for investment banks.”

Meanwhile, Qiwi Group CEO and its biggest stakeholder, Sergey Solonin, already confirmed his participation in the HASH project as a strategic investor.

Qiwi is a global electronic payments company founded in Moscow and headquartered in Cyprus. As of 2017, it had a net revenue of $229 million USD and 20.1 million active accounts.

Will HASH be the future of investment banking or is it just a marketing stunt? Share your thoughts below! 

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Written by Allen Scott @ June 30, 2018 Allen Scott

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