In Russia, the number of physical devices that allow transactions with cryptocurrency is increasing. In total, more than five dozen working cryptomats have already been installed in the country amid growing interest in cryptocurrency, Kommersant reports.
Only in Moscow this year, 14 new devices appeared, according to RusBit, which installs cryptomats. They allow you to exchange cash or non-cash funds for cryptocurrency with crediting to a crypto wallet, as well as convert it into fiat to a bank account. However, it is not yet possible to withdraw cash from crypto ATMs in Russia.
RusBit representatives say that the company considers the installation of devices completely legal, since digital currencies should be classified as a digital good under the law “On Digital Financial Assets”. In addition, cryptomats are connected to the OFD cloud cash desk, and the operator submits all reports on operations to the Federal Tax Service in a timely manner, the company said.
However, lawyers interviewed by Kommersant believe that the work of cryptomats is still in the “gray zone”. For example, Ksenia Petrovets, Senior Associate at Birch Legal, says that so far, transactions for the exchange of cryptocurrencies for fiat are not directly prohibited and not directly regulated. Alexander Sharapov, a lawyer at KSK Group, notes that at the moment the legal structure of interaction between the seller and buyer of digital assets is unclear, so it is not clear what legal acts should regulate them. There is also no clear procedure for protecting consumer rights in case of problems, at least at the legislative level, says a.t.Legal partner Pavel Ganin.
At the same time, cryptomats installed in Russia offer users unfavorable exchange conditions. Employees of Kommersant purchased a certain amount of cryptocurrency in bitcoin - it turned out that the device offers a purchase at a rate of 1.494 million rubles per coin. This is 10-14% higher than in online exchangers.
According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), at the end of 2021, the share of Russians owning cryptocurrency was 11.9%, that is, more than 17 million people. However, the head of InDeFi SmartBank, Sergey Mendeleev, believes that the number of Russians who are “drawn into crypto-currency” does not exceed 500,000 people.