Qiwi closes purchase of InspiRussia, as blockchain tech gains ground in Russia

Maria Nikolova

Shortly after establishing a special subsidiary for blockchain tech, Qiwi buys a business for development of blockchain-based solutions.

Russian payments services provider Qiwi PLC (NASDAQ:QIWI) has been pushing into new fintech areas like blockchain for the past couple of years. After making the headlines in September 2015 by announcing its plans to launch its own crypto currency “BitRuble”, the company has kept up with its efforts into the development of blockchain technology. In March this year, Qiwi announced the establishment of a blockchain subsidiary and, today, it made another step in the blockchain technology direction.

According to a report by TASS, Qiwi has closed the purchase of InspiRussia, a Tatarstan-based business that aims to develop blockchain-based solutions. The financial details of the deal are not unveiled.

The deal is sealed as Russia increasingly welcomes blockchain technologies. Russia’s Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications is pushing for the adoption of legal provisions for distributed ledger technologies (such as blockchain) and has scheduled this legalization for 2019.

In March 2017, Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has become one of the supporters of blockchain technology, as he instructed the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications and the Ministry of Economic Development to study the possible applications of the blockchain technology during the preparation of the “Digital Economy” program.

The warm climate regarding blockchain technologies contrasts with the controversial stance of regulators and government agencies with regards to bitcoin and other crypto-currencies. About one year ago, Russia’s Ministry of Finance was advocating an “anti-bitcoin law”, which envisaged harsh penalties for bitcoin-related activities. This stance, however, has been reversed, as in April this year Russia’s Deputy Finance Minister Alexey Moiseev said Russia may recognize bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in 2018 while the authorities seek to enforce rules against illegal transfers.

Shortly after that statement was made, Maxim Grigoriev, Chief of the Centre for Financial Technologies at the Bank of Russia, rushed to quash the rising enthusiasm. He noted it was too early to talk of legalizing crypto-currencies in Russia and added that the status of crypto-currencies in Russia is still a subject of discussion for the Bank of Russia, the Ministry of Finance and the Federal Financial Monitoring Service (Rosfinmonitoring).

Read this next

Industry News

Playtech to close Finalto sale to Gopher in two weeks

Playtech, the London-listed gambling software developer, today said it expects to close the divesting of its financial trading division Finalto by mid July 2022.

Retail FX

eToro valuation halved as SPAC merger deadline expires

The deadline for the completion of the SPAC merger of eToro had passed yesterday, June 30, and the Israeli broker apparently canceled the deal with Betsy Cohen-backed blank-check firm.

Institutional FX

FXSpotStream reports second best figure for monthly volumes

Trading volumes on institutional FX platforms surged in June after fears over the impact of Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine sent speculative asset classes reeling.

Retail FX

Vantage expands MT5 offering with access to new stocks

ASIC-regulated foreign exchange brokerage Vantage has expanded its service offering and trading products by incorporating new markets, namely 14 exchange-based stocks on MetaTrader 5.

Digital Assets

CFTC charges $1.7 billion Bitcoin scam, largest to date

Mirror Trading accepted at least 29,421 Bitcoin from approximately 23,000 investors from the United States and even more throughout the world.

Retail FX

Spotware Systems upgrades cTrader Desktop to version 4.3

Spotware Systems, a technology provider for the electronic trading industry, has launched an updated version of its cTrader Desktop, which adds new functionality to join a roster of advanced trading capabilities.

Digital Assets

OKX launches Block Trading for tighter pricing

With Block Trading, users can integrate spot and derivatives trades on the same platform and trade multiple currencies in a single trade. The service supports trading of perpetual swap, futures, and option contracts with popular altcoins as the underlying.

Industry News

Interactive Brokers pays $1 million to settle with CFTC

Interactive Brokers overcharged its customers a total of $710,828.14.

Metaverse Gaming NFT

DappRadar launches cross-chain token staking

The launch of the cross-chain token staking mechanism by DappRadar comes under a partnership with LayerZero protocol, which enables smart contracts to communicate across different chains.

<