Qiwi Launches Crypto Investment Bank

The blockchain arm of Qiwi, one of the largest e-payment providers in Russia, is launching a crypto investment bank, called HASH, to advise investors and help domestic companies tokenize their assets once appropriate regulations are in place, Coin Telegraph reports.

The new enterprise is being launched by senior staff at Qiwi Blockchain Technology – a Qiwi subsidiary formed in March to focus on blockchain development and consulting.

Branded as “the first crypto investment bank in Russia,” HASH will manage clients’ ICOs, help them build their blockchain networks and raise funds.

The project has already partnered with an array of international fin-tech companies, including Bitfury Capital, Itech, InVenture, Target Global, Hosho, Wings, and RootStock, said Constantine Koltsov, a partner at Qiwi Blockchain Technology and head of corporate relationships at HASH.

“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 the economy, like natural resources and heavy industry, to raise money through ICOs,” Koltsov said.

In particular, HASH will also advise financial institutions on the quality of crypto projects they are considering investing in, since many of them have some apprehension towards ICOs, he said, due to the number of scams on the market.

Koltsov claimed that HASH was already working with a 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.