Spending Bitcoin in Russia Part Two: From Bitcoin Village to Buying Raketa

Bitcoin is seriously considered a currency in major economies of the world, yet there is still a conservative reaction on some markets which is remarkable. Market and institutional conditions sometimes lag behind the tech opportunities but we are here to promote it.

Cointelegraph continues to discuss what you can do and where you can go in Russia if you want to spend your Bitcoins right now.

How Russia got a Bitcoin village

We are now witnessing the situation where Bitcoin is accepted as a form of payment in multiple big and small companies all over the world. In such a conservative business environment as Russia, no one would expect for Bitcoin to be adopted any faster. Hereby it is indeed a sign of interest when businesses take certain steps to adopt the global trend.

On the wave of the latest optimistic news from the Russian village Kolionovo, where the innovator and farmer Mr. Mikhail Shlyapnikov has put the whole business on Bitcoin exchange, one should keep in mind that not everything in the garden is rosy. For now, there are only several yet remarkable cases when happy Bitcoin owners can pay for goods and services in Russia.

Pioneer resellers who approve Bitcoins for payment appear sporadically on the Russian market. What are the companies that accept Bitcoins? Let us go through the list of fire-eaters in a certain order: from those who cover basic needs to some more sophisticated services.

Paying for the Internet

Who are we? People! What do we need? To be online! Selectel hosting provider accepts Bitcoins as well as competitors’ Litecoins for their services. They have taken Western hosting companies as a role model.

You can transfer virtual money via the OKPay payment system with no commission. The account is usually refilled within one hour.

Food for thought and thoughts for food

If there is no food in one’s stomach no will to do anything, however, you can still surf the net in starving unconsciousness. There you would find out that two Subways in Moscow sell subs for Bitcoins.

The Subway franchise on Dmitrovskoe highway and Dolgoprudny owned by a go getter Mikhail Kuzmin, accepts Bitcoins. The first location choice is dubious in a sense of Bitcoin payment popularity.

However, the second spot has Moscow Physico-Technical Institute as a neighbor, so geeky students and scientists come to eat their sandwiches for virtual money.

Kolionovo farm, already mentioned above, also opens up possibilities for Bitcoin owners to buy fresh products such as dairy, fish and vegetables. Located in the Moscow region they welcome everyone to buy in Bitcoins. This provides an opportunity to buy ecological food for little money.

In the past Christmas season, the owner Mr. Shlyapnikov has organized a sale of Christmas trees on the farm attracting many Muscovites. A real fur tree for a cozy celebration was selling at a price of a couple of hundredth of Bitcoin, which was transferred to the crypto wallet of the farm. Blockchain was in action and not only in high tech industry.

Pay cryptocurrency for fun

Art spaces along with bar Klutch (KL10CH) which originally opened in St. Petersburg still continue the tradition of the Bitcoin payment extravaganza even when they moved to Moscow. Now Klutch (KL10CH) represents multifunctional spaces in three areas of Moscow where one can rent offices, use coworking and conference rooms.

Furthermore, there are bars and various happenings for the creative individuals and IT people ranging from lectures and game tournaments to Geek speed dating and gigs. Bitcoin is in the right place to be the currency of exchange with great potential.

Travel local and global

Traveling locally within one city and paying with Bitcoins is possible when using Wheely. The taxi service started accepting Bitcoins in 2014, and according to latest information continues to do so.

The only condition is that the client should top up their balance in advance on the Wheely website. In this case, all clients are obliged to provide information of their credit card. Just in case, you know.

Despite the fact that AirBaltic is a Latvian based company, we listed it here since it flies from Russian cities such as  Moscow and St. Petersburg. AirBaltic pioneered in accepting cryptocurrency yet for now only for budget tickets marked Basic. The payment is processed via the Bitpay system on a desktop or mobile apps with no commission.

Just to be trendy

The position of Bitcoin as a legal currency being equal to all the physical money is still uncertain. Previously it was announced by the Central Bank of Russia that Bitcoin is viewed as a money surrogate and is not considered by the officials as a real money instrument.

Unfortunately the initiatives of local businesses to enlist Bitcoin as a payment currency has met the resistance of officials to recognize it legally. Once the official commentaries on Bitcoin appeared, several if not the majority of companies have stopped accepting it.

For instance, Russian legendary watch producer Raketa and the bar network KillFish fell by the wayside in using Bitcoins. Raketa in 2014 and KillFish in 2015 having just started using Bitcoins closed Bitcoin payments in less than one month of use.

The future of Bitcoin in Russia

What Russian businesses can fragmentarily hear from officials is not enough to make any conclusions. They feel unsafe using Bitcoins in commerce. In the end of 2016 the Ministry of Finance discussed Bitcoins to equal foreign currency, therefore we can figure out if the Bitcoin emission in Russia would be illegal.

At the same time, the same institute considered Blockchain technology as preliminary approved. We are just left here waiting for the further news to see what 2017 holds for Bitcoin usage in Russia.  

The more companies would endorse Bitcoin remuneration the more likely Bitcoin will have official status. And, after all, the more the merrier, guys.