Russia is not warming up to Bitcoin just yet, although the Russian Central bank wants to start experimenting with blockchain technology. During a recent conference, it became apparent a Russian R3CEV may be formed by QIWI to study and develop distributed ledgers.
Russia, QIWI & Distributed Ledger Development
The situation regarding cryptocurrency in Russia is dicey at best, considering there is a proposal on the table to make Bitcoin activity punishable by law for both consumers and enterprises. But at the same there, there is a local initiative by payment processor QIWI, which aims to bring a digital Ruble to the country in the coming years.
About a week ago, there was the Blockchain and Open Platforms 2016 conference, where QIWI director Alexei Arkhipov made an interesting announcement. The Russian payments operator has officially started their internal tests for distributed ledger technology, which will assist in processing financial transactions.
For the time being,QIWI is experimenting with recording transactions on a distributed ledger, guaranteeing immutability. Additionally, transactions are being broadcasted to this custom blockchain solution, although the project is still in the early testing days. It was also confirmed the team is focusing on achieving horizontal scalability while keeping operating costs as low as possible.
Qiwi’s crypto technology architect Alexei Troshichev stated:
We have been looking at the protocols of public blockchain systems, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. However, none of these systems were an appropriate fit for our needs. Moreover, closed systems have the same architectural disadvantages compared to public blockchain. As a result, we are basing our distributed ledger on our own vision of system architecture.
When asked how the integrity of blocks in this distributed ledger is guaranteed, Troschichev mentioned how QIWI is using computational resources of existing public blockchains. However, the team is currently debating on whether or not they will creating a new mining system involving thememory-hard approach to hashing.
Is There a Need for a Russian R3 CEV Consortium?
In a rather surprising turn of events, Troschichev also made a mention of how the creation of a Russian R3 CEV counterpart could be beneficial. Participation of partners who are engaged in solving inherent issues will aid in the development of such an ecosystem. Troshichev explained it as follows:
QIWI’s vision is based on the idea that processing as it has no value to end users. A convenient ecosystem, where the problems solved by processing is inherent but insufficient, is more valuable. Participation of partners engaged in solving other inherent issues will enable us to create an ecosystem with a human face.
If QIWI would pursue this idea, they will be primarily looking to attractor other financial players. Additionally, companies active in the world of authentication and identification services would be welcomed as well. But such an ecosystem would not be viable without merchants, as they would be an integral part of the Russian R3 CEV consortium. For now, this idea is nothing more than just that, as nothing has been finalized yet.
What are your thoughts on the concept and proposal by QIWI? Do we need more R3 CEV-like consortiums for blockchain development? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of QIWI, Shutterstock, bloomberg.com