The R3 blockchain consortium continues to welcome new members all year long. In a rather surprising turn of events, Russian payment provider QIWI joined the team. This is somewhat strange, as it appeared the company was in talks with the Russian government to develop new blockchain solutions. R3 and QiWI will elaborate on design and possible application of distributed ledgers.
A partnership between Russia’s primary payment provider and the R3 blockchain consortium is an exciting development. Although the consortium is backed by several dozen major financial institutions already, Russia seemed to remain neutral. However, no one wants to be left behind in this “arms race’ to develop and integrate distributed ledger technology in the financial sector.
QIWI Can Be A Powerful Ally For The R3 Consortium
QIWI is also the first company based in Eastern Europe to join the R3 consortium. Most of their members were located in North America, Western Europe, and Asia. Over time, this initiative has started to gain more traction among financial players in other parts of the world. Collaborative research and development of blockchain proofs-of-concept are direly needed before this technology can be integrated into the financial sector.
But there’s more to this new collaboration than just exchanging ideas. The participation of QIWI further validates distributed ledgers as a technology well worth exploring by banks and financial service providers. It seems likely more Eastern European companies will join the consortium over time. R3 CEO David Rutter mentioned how Eastern Europe is a “critical region” for this initiative.
QIWI CEO Sergey Solonin told the media:
“QIWI is thoroughly involved in developing and testing blockchain projects and ideas that can be directly applied to its core payment market. We believe that blockchain projects that we are currently working on can be applied on one of the R3 platforms and have great potential to be favorably perceived by regulated financial institutions.”
Having a partner with close ties to national regulators and policymakers will be beneficial to the R3 consortium. Although Russian financial service providers are keeping tabs on blockchain development, very few “official” efforts are underway. Exchanging knowledge and ideas with the consortium may change that situation in the coming years.
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