Who shuns blockchain? Russia’s National Card Payment System

Maria Nikolova

In the face of the growing interest in DLT in Russia, the National Card Payment System sees no need to adopt blockchain.

The adoption of distributed ledger technologies (DLT) has been a hot topic worldwide, with the number of companies pushing into this segment growing. However, there are businesses that are reluctant to make use of blockchain and related technologies – the most recent example in this respect comes from Russia.

National Card Payment System Joint Stock Company (NSPK) sees no possibility and no need to apply blockchain technologies, NSPK’s General Director Vladimir Komlev told RIA Novosti in an interview. He added that he sees no applications of this technology at present and that all current tasks that NSPK faces can be solved via means other than blockchain. Mr Komlev also said the blockchain technologies were not fast enough in terms of processing.

NSPK, the operator of Mir National Payment System, was established in July 2014 and is wholly owned by the Central Bank of Russia.

The stance of NSPK’s head is in contrast with the overall positive attitude towards blockchain and distributed ledger technologies (DLT) in Russia. The group of supporters of these technologies includes Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. In May this year, he said that the main moments of regulating blockchain and related technologies should be clear by the time these solutions enter in various areas of life. Mr Medvedev has earlier this year instructed the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications and the Ministry of Economic Development to study the possible applications of blockchain technology in a number of economic areas.

Last month, Russia’s Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications set 2019 as the deadline for the adoption of laws and legal amendments necessary for the legalization of blockchain.

Russia’s businesses have been open to apply blockchain. Earlier in 2017, Russian media reported that payments services provider Qiwi PLC (NASDAQ:QIWI) had formed a subsidiary called Qiwi Blockchain Technologies (QBT). Qiwi has pushed further into this fintech segment through the acquisition of InspiRussia, a Tatarstan-based business that develops blockchain-based solutions.

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