Qiwi, a Russian payment system operator and one of the country’s most active cryptocurrency players, will launch a test to track energy transactions using blockchain technology in partnership with Tavrida Electric, one of the world’s leading suppliers of circuit breakers and a global energy smart grid supplier.
Each Tavrida Electric transaction will be recorded on the blockchain, according to Moscow-based Rambler News Service. The transactions will be visible to regulatory agencies and other energy companies on the blockchain. Qiwi said it could extend the project to other energy companies.
The project marks Qiwi’s latest effort to promote blockchain-related technology in Russia, despite government opposition.
Smart Grids For Russia
Tavrida Electric signed an agreement a year ago to deploy smart grids in Moscow and other parts of Russia, along with projects in other countries such as Poland, Mexico and Brazil. The company plans to build a new factory for its smart grid projects, according to Kommersant, a business daily.
Smart grids, according to Kommersant, represent the most promising trend in the global energy sector.
According to its website, Tavrida Electric is among the three largest circuit breaker and recloser suppliers in the world. It holds a leading position in the production of electrical equipment, having offices in 22 countries and exporting to 80 countries. The company offers automation technologies and distribution of electricity, ranging from standard products to turnkey solutions for a variety of industries.
Past Political Upheaval
According to Kommersant, Tavrida Electric was founded by a politically active man, Alexei Chaly.
Chaly declared himself Sevastopol mayor in February 2014 during the Crimean crisis following the resignation of the mayor appointed by Victor Yanukovych, according to Wikipedia. Under Chaly, Sevastopol participated in the March 2014 referendum in which Crimea separated from Ukraine and acceded to Russia.
Chaly sold the company following Russia’s annexation of Crimea when his name was placed on the United States and European Union sanctions list, according to Kommorsant.
Qiwi: A Persistent Crypto Player
Qiwi, being active in cryptocurrency in a country that hasn’t welcomed it, has faced its own share of opposition in Russia, independent of Crimea-related events. The company met opposition from local officials earlier this year when it planned to issue a cryptocurrency called “bitrubles”. Elvira Nabiullina, the Russian central bank’s chairwoman, repeatedly said cryptocurrencies could be used for dubious operations, and that the bank is studying the matter and could supervise the sphere out of necessity.
In June 2016, Qiwi was revealed to be organizing Russia’s own private banking consortium, in partnership with the Bank of Russia, the Russian Federation’s central bank. The plan came to pass the following month when Russia’s largest banks and tech consultancy giant Accenture formed the working group with Qiwi.
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