Russian payments company Qiwi has always played a significant role in the development of blockchain technology. One of the key figures behind this is Sergey Solonin, the company’s CEO and majority shareholder.
Solonin’s interest in the cryptocurrency domain became quite obvious after he delivered a lecture at the Moscow School of Communications. About 7 years ago, the Qiwi boss had just found out that his company’s resources had been used to mine 500,000 Bitcoins; an event that he wasn’t aware of. In fact, Solonin had no clue what Bitcoins were or what mining was.
A super-secret operation
It was only after one of Qiwi’s security chiefs alerted him to the situation hat Solonin got to know that his computers were being operated overnight. After an investigation, lasting 3 months, took place, it was finally found that Qiwi’s own CTO (Chief Technical Officer) was the man behind the whole scam. He had managed to mine around 500,000 Bitcoins which translates to $5 million at the time.
The entire operation occurred over a period of 3 months. Currently, those coins are worth over a billion dollars.
When confronted by Solonin and asked to make restitutions for his “crime”, the CTO responded by simply quitting. After that, the Qiwi boss was forced to form a team to find out what exactly the CTO did. In other words, Solonin got people to mine Bitcoins.
However, only a partial amount of data was made available because the rest of it had conveniently been deleted by the employee. Even the coins he had earned were unrecoverable.
A life-changing experience
But, something interesting happened after that event. Solonin began to see the potential in cryptocurrencies, which eventually led him to become an investor. Soon enough, he began to hire experts who could speed up the mining process.
After his team worked on the issue for 3 months, it was found that the computer terminals were not able to generate the appropriate amount of hash power needed to compete with the GPU/ASIC arena. So, Qiwi’s mining plans had to be shut down.
A new focus
Qiwi now focuses primarily on AI (Artificial Intelligence) and something called “blocking”. According to Solonin, this will ultimately lead to the integration of computer systems.
The CEO believes that, in the future, large volumes of data will be available on the block, especially medical data. This will make way for better patient care and increases in life expectancy. For example, AI will be able to determine connections between a person’s dietary intake and the diseases they are likely to be affected by. The quality of diagnosis will be higher than what is capable of a mere human.
Solonin believes that cryptocurrencies are very effective and that this isn’t likely going to change. However, he also suggests that cryptocurrencies will continue to be seen as purely investment-worthy, which will simply lead to hoarding.
The need of the hour, according to Solonin, is a cryptocurrency that is convenient and fast.
As for the CTO, it is believed that he lost all his coins due to an unnamed issue.