Bitcoin on every street corner – Russia colonized by BTC distributors


In the gray area – The number of vending machines cryptocurrencies in Russia has increased, although some crypto players fear that regulators will get their hands on these ATMs, amid regulatory uncertainty.

Crypto ATMs on the Rise in Russia

According to an article by the Russian business daily Kommersant, the number of cryptocurrency ATMs in Russia has increased, and would elevate at 52 units in the country, despite the lack of regulatory clarity in this area.

Moscow would concentrate the most ATM cryptos, with 14 distributors, according to the media which quotes Rusbit, one of the companies which installed these machines. The company says it operates legallyreferring to the Digital Financial Assets Act, which came into force in January last year.

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Regulatory uncertainty and fears of foreclosures

For some lawyers, this law on digital financial assets only partially regulates cryptocurrencies and related activities. From a legal point of view, crypto ATMs would then in reality be in a gray areawhile waiting for the Russian parliament to pass a more comprehensive cryptocurrency bill.

Ksenia Petrovets, senior partner at law firm Birch Legal, pointed out that the current legislation does not address the conversion of cryptocurrencies into fiat currency or into other cryptos. The law does not explicitly allow or prohibit these operations.

Cryptocurrency ATM and Regulation in Russia
BTC ATMs in the gray zone in Russia

CEO of the DeFi platform Indefibank, Sergey Mendeleev, talks about the possibility of a seizure of these ATM cryptos by the authorities. In 2018, the Russian central bank had requested the confiscation of 22 Bbfpro crypto distributors.

Tax-friendly crypto distributors

The future of these crypto ATMs in Russia thus remains uncertain due to regulatory uncertainty. These distributors communicate information to the Federal Tax Service. They also ask their customers to complete an identity verification procedure, including asking for their crypto addresses.

Most of these crypto ATMs allow you to buy cryptocurrency in cash or using a credit card. The purchased cryptocurrencies are then sent to the buyer’s wallet. On the other hand, distributors in Russia would not allow cash withdrawals against the sale of cryptocurrencies.

With the closure of crypto platforms for Russian residents, these distributors are interesting alternatives for investors in the country, who wish to acquire cryptocurrencies. Will regulators be more tolerant of these ATMs, taking into account the current sanctions imposed on Russian customers of crypto exchanges?

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