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Russian finance companies sign memorandum to form blockchain consortium

Leading companies in the Russian financial sector are coming together to form a consortium with the objective of exploration and implementation of blockchain technology and its derivatives.

The plan to create the consortium in the country was revealed in the XXV International Financial Congress, held in St. Petersburg from June 29 to July 1, 2016 and hosted by the Central Bank of Russia. Russian payments provider QIWI, BINBANK, MDM Bank, Otkritie Bank, Tinkoff Bank and Accenture signed a mutual memorandum, expressing their intention to join the consortium.

During the event, deputy chairwoman of the Bank of Russia Olga Skorobogatova provided updates on the exploration of blockchain technology. The central bank plans to become increasingly engaged in blockchain research and interact with the market.

“Our position is in applying the technologies where they may benefit the market, not just replacing one solution with another. Currently we’ve developed a system for message transmission via blockchain. We’re testing it along with other market players”, said Skorobogatova, as quoted by Forklog.

The consortium will mark Russia’s first collaborative platform innovative and distributed technologies. Earlier in April, Qiwi CTO Alexei Arkhipov said that the company was looking to create a consortium of regional banks, financial institutions and enterprise businesses that could join forces to further explore the emerging technology.

“Creation of consortium in Russia is our response to the rapidly growing interest in innovative technologies that can lead the economy, business and daily life of a person to a completely new level of interaction and confidence”, said Sergey Solonin, CEO of QIWI Group. “I’m convinced that the Consortium, which brought together the Russia’s largest financial company, is able to become an effective platform for multilateral cooperation in exploration, launching innovations and their implementations in financial services.”

The consortium’s activities will span across technological, regulatory, practical and communicative fields and its members will focus on development and implementation of the most advanced technological solutions in the financial services industry. The members will be particularly engaged in joint development and testing of prototypes, standardization of technology as well as opening the doors for technology for all market participants.

In addition, the consortium will also focus on technological harmonization of Russian blockchain movement with the global one and launching an open communicative platform for the market participants and the regulator. It will also seek to raise the level of public knowledge and confidence in the financial services based on blockchain.

Creating and testing the first prototypes are scheduled to begin later this year. In the future, elaboration of legal regulation, the introduction of ultimate financing solutions to the market and global integration will follow.

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