According to a report last week, the Russian capital, along with a number of other regions has seen the number of Bitcoin ATMs rise steadily.
The service has seen a surge in demand because it can provide easy access to cryptocurrencies, even though it does not really offer the best exchange rates because of regulatory uncertainty.
ATMs on the rise
It is due to the growing interest in crypto in Russia that the number of automated teller machines that give access to digital assets is on the rise.
A report noted that there were a few dozen bitcoin ATMs, which are also called BATMs, were now running across the country, even though there is no clear regulation for crypto in Russia.
In terms of new installations, Moscow is currently in the lead. Rusbit is one of the companies that has been installing bitcoin ATMs in Russia.
It said that the total number of ‘cryptomats’ that have been set up in the Russian capital this year is 14, which means that the total number of Bitcoin ATMs in Russia has now risen to 52.
Considering the popularity and territory of Russia, this number is still very small, but Rusbit added that it expects the number to increase in 2023.
A greater number of bitcoin ATMs means that people are able to buy one or more tokens with cash, or can also use a non-cash payment option like a credit card.
They can then receive their purchases in the digital wallet of their choice. While there are some BATMs in question that also offer support for selling crypto in exchange for fiat, none of them in Russia currently have this feature.
The ATMs that Rusbit offers are available between $1,800 and $3,600 and deal with their maintenance for 1% of the total turnover.
According to the company, its operations are fully legal and in compliance with the crypto law called ‘On Digital Financial Assets’ that had been implemented in Russia last year in January.
It said that the ATMs provide data to the Federal Tax Service, similar to how cash registers operate and the identities of customers is also verified, as well as their crypto addresses are recorded.
But, legal experts do not fully agree with Rusbit’s conclusion. As a matter of fact, they have clearly said that the bitcoin teller machines still fall in a ‘gray zone’ in terms of regulation.
It should be noted that the DFA law does not fully regulates cryptocurrencies in Russia and the parliament has still not reviewed another bill that has been submitted, which is called ‘On Digital Currency’.
Legal experts have said that the existing legislation in Russia does not cover activities involving the exchange of digital currencies for other crypto or fiat.
They also said that the regulations do not explicitly legalize or prohibit these activities. It remains unclear as to what activities can be declared legal as far as BATMs are concerned.
It will only be clarified when proper legislation is introduced in Russia.