Not even the war has been effective in curtailing the growth of crypto activity in Russia, particularly in Moscow. Instead, the interest in digital currencies and activities relating thereto have increased tremendously in Russia.
Recently, Moscow saw massive increase in the number of Bitcoin-powered automated teller machines (ATMs). An editorial was also published in the daily Russian newspaper namely “Kommersant” which recorded the phenomenal growth.
Currently, there are several hundred Bitcoin-powered ATMs that have been rendering digital teller services throughout Russia. However, the biggest chunk of such machines are installed in Moscow, the capital of Russia.
The massive growth in Bitcoin-powered ATMs has come as a surprise as evidently there are no crypto regulations in the country.
Moscow Becomes the Hub of Bitcoin-Powered ATMs
The newspaper article noted that in terms of having recently installed Bitcoin-powered ATMs in the world, most of them have been installed in Moscow.
The leading company behind massive Bitcoin-powered ATM installation in Moscow namely Rusbit, revealed that recently 14 new such ATMs have been installed in Moscow.
The company further revealed that a total of 52 Bitcoin-powered ATMs have overall been installed throughout the country.
Considering that the population of Russia is over 143 million, the number of total Bitcoin-powered ATMs is still at the lowest.
According to Rusbit, the number of such ATMs is expected to explode by the year 2023.
Use of BATMs
Usually these BATMs allow its users to buy and even Bitcoins or other integrated digital currencies on the basis of cash or electronic payment cards.
The purchased digital currencies or the proceeds from sale of them can then be transferred into the digital wallet of the user.
However, none of these machines in Russia offer the functionality of selling digital currencies against fiat or other means of electronic payment. At best they offer buying of digital currencies, including Bitcoin.
According to Rusbit, a single unit of BATM costs approximately $2,000 to 3,500. Approximately 1% out of the total turnover from a single machine is spent on its maintenance.
Rusbit stated that the company has been doing a lawful business which is in compliance with the On Digital Financial Assets (DFAs). The said law came into force in January, 2021.
Crypto Still without Any Legal Cover
It was further revealed that BATMs function similar to usual ATMs as the data from BATMs is transmitted to Federal Tax Service. Resultantly, these machines keep record of digital wallet addresses and customers, said Rusbit.
However, according to Russian legal experts and attorneys, there is still a ‘gray zone’ pertaining to BATMs and other crypto-powered ATMs. They said that no prominent regulations pertaining to cryptocurrencies currently exist.