Residents of Rostov, the Russian port city on the Don River, are enjoying a growing number of bitcoin-related services. Some crypto-savvy taxi drivers have started accepting Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and several BTC teller machines have been installed in supermarkets. All that happens while officials in Moscow are still mulling over the legislation needed to regulate cryptocurrencies.
Taxi drivers in Rostov on Don are obviously among those Russians who don’t want to wait for a permission to take advantage of the opportunities offered by cryptocurrencies. A youngster recently shared on a local social media channel a picture proving that taxi rides in the Southern Russian city can now be paid with cryptocurrency.
The photo published on the Vkontakte page “Rostov Glavniy” shows a sticker on a car’s dashboard reading “Принимаю оплату в Биткоин (КЭШ)”, or “Accepting payments in Bitcoin Cash”. “People should no longer complain they live in a backward city. Taxis now take cryptocurrency,” the author of the post wrote.
The clever business decision is a proof that even taxi drivers now know this and that about peer-to-peer payment systems. And, as with any other hot topic, they will be happy to tell you everything about cryptocurrencies, before you reach your destination. If you want to know more about how cryptographic methods work, get a cab in Russia.
A survey conducted earlier this year showed that more than half of Russians have some knowledge about bitcoin. Awareness is higher among young people, and in big cities. „Биткоин“ (Bitcoin) was declared the most popular word in Russian social media in another study.
Not only crypto payments are doing well in Rostov, but also bitcoin teller services. At least three BTC ATMs are currently operational in the stores of the Russian supermarket chain Assorti. All of them are in the downtown area of the city.
The automated teller machines accept fiat cash, rubles, and a number of electronic payment methods popular in Russia, such as MTC, Мегафон (Megaphone), Tele2, Yota, and Билайн (Beeline). The operator charges 6 percent commission on the purchases and issues receipts, both on paper and through email.
The ATMs have been installed by the Russian company BBFpro which maintains a network of bitcoin terminals across the vast country. All three machines in the largest city in Southern Russia are working 24/7. They are located on 57 “40th Line” Street, 144 “Socialisticheskaya” Street, and 99 “Lenin” Boulevard.
Russian authorities have not yet adopted the long-awaited legislation aimed at regulating the growing crypto sector. The State Duma has accepted two drafts – the bill “On digital financial assets”, which legalizes crypto-related activities like mining and token sales, and another text amending the country’s civil code in order to allow digital currency payments.
Recently, the Cabinet of Ministers in Moscow expressed concerns about different aspects of the draft law “On digital financial assets”. The Russian government also suggested a number of amendments to the bill, as news.Bitcoin.com reported.
Both pieces of legislation should be adopted by early summer, when Russia will be hosting this year’s FIFA World Cup. The country expects $2 billion dollars of revenues from the football championship. Guests are likely to spend some cryptocurrency, if such option is available. Hotels in Kaliningrad are accepting bitcoin, and a new street exchange in Moscow sells bitcoins for cash. Crypto debit cards are available again in Europe.