Russia’s largest online retailer Ulmart says it intends to accept Bitcoin payments “from September 1, 2017.”
In a press release issued on Wednesday, Ulmart, which deals mainly in electronic goods, says it intends to roll out Bitcoin availability to “higher-priced items first” and that deliberations were ongoing on the matter.
According to Dmitry Kostygin, chairman and majority shareholder of Ulmart, the company had taken a keen interest in cryptocurrency behind the scenes while Russia was still deciding what legislative approach to take to the technology.
“Ulmart started closely monitoring the market and regulatory environment for the use of crypto-currency in Russia as early as March 2014,” he said.
“As the blockchain technology is coming into our operations to fight counterfeit items, we see that the mystery that existed around the bitcoin three years ago has significantly receded.”
Should the move go ahead, Ulmart would become easily the largest outlet accepting Bitcoin in Russia, where the consumer landscape is still at its very beginning.
After several years of uncertainty and even the threat of criminal punishment for cryptocurrency users, Russian lawmakers finally stated this year that banning it was unfeasible and that set regulations would likely occur in 2018.
“We welcome the willingness that the Russian government has demonstrated with regards to the review of the bitcoin technology and look forward to cooperating with it in this area,” Ulmart’s Chief International Officer Brian Kean added.
“Ulmart believes such initiatives as bitcoin can be part of the efforts to develop 'smart' economy and cities and will aim to play a major role in this process."