Qiwi, one of the largest e-payment providers in Russia, is launching a crypto investment bank, called HASH, to advise investors and help Russian companies tokenize their assets once the appropriate regulation in Russia is in place.
The company announced it was launching a new enterprise based on its fintech subsidiary Qiwi Blockchain Technology, created this past March. HASH, branded as “the first crypto investment bank in Russia,” will manage clients’ ICOs, help them build their blockchain networks and raise funds. The company has already partnered with an array of fintech companies around the world, including Bitfury Capital, Itech, InVenture, Target Global, Hosho, Wings, and RootStock, said Constantine Koltsov, partner at Qiwi Blockchain Technology.
“We are going to make an international crypto bank providing trading services, research and ICO advisers … When the proper regulation is in place, we are going to help companies from traditional sectors of economy, like natural resources and heavy industry, to raise money through ICOs.”
HASH will also advise financial institutions on the quality of cryptoassets they are going to buy. Now many of them have a considerable apprehension towards the ICOs, Koltsov said, as there is a lot of scams on the market.
Koltsov claimed that HASH was already working with a major private oil and gas company on launching an ICO to raise $20 million, though he declined to name the firm.
ICOs can be helpful at a time when major Russian banks are under sanctions, and can have difficulty borrowing money from organizations in the West, he said.
As Russia has yet to pass regulations for blockchain and cryptocurrencies, HASH will initially work with projects registered in other jurisdictions, but Russian investors are free to participate in various ICOs with the company’s help, Koltsov said.
Qiwi expects that the Russia’s parliament to pass the bills regulating cryptocurrencies and blockchain this fall. Otherwise, the company will continue focusing on projects in different legal landscapes, he added.
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