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To Russia with Bitcoin: Hotels Will Accept Cryptocurrency During the World Cup

Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:06 PM
Habiba Tahir
Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:06 PM

The world’s biggest sporting event is just a few months away and fans are flocking to online websites to book their seats in Russia. Luckily for crypto users, Kaliningrad, one of the cities hosting the matches, is now offering cryptocurrency payments for hotel rooms.

Buying Business Travel  Russia reported that Apartments Malina has teamed up with the online payment system, Free-Kassa, to allow users to purchase rooms with cryptocurrencies. A total of four matches  will be played in Kaliningrad on Jun. 16, 22, 25 and 28.

According to a rough translation, Apartments Malina’s manager, Anna Subbotina said:

Crypto-currencies are now enjoying increased interest. Gradually they will come into use as a means of payment. And we decided that the fans should be able to pay for our services with the help of this innovative technology. It may very well be that other hotels [are] awaiting our example for the forthcoming football holiday.”

Eleven of Russia’s cities will host  the FIFA World Cup including Ekaterinburg, Moscow, Kazan, Saint Petersburg, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Sochi, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Saransk and Kaliningrad.

Others haven’t come forward with similar announcements yet, which is why Free-Kassa’s development director, Vitaly Lavrov, called it an “interesting experience”. “We did not have to cooperate with hotels and hotels in such a format. But the hospitality industry is very sensitive to such trends,” said Lavrov. However, Free-Kassa’s current collaboration with Petersburg Social Commercial Bank (PSCB)  proves that there is a chance Saint Petersburg will adopt cryptocurrency payments as well.

Russia had been drafting regulations for cryptocurrencies and ICOs in the new proposal “On Digital Financial Assets” last month. However, amendments were requested by Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Communications, Ministry of Justice, Central Bank of Russia and others to soften the rules for cryptocurrency users. While this decision was not favored by the Ministry of Finance, it did submit a bill  last week which lists cryptocurrencies as “financial assets” instead of a legal payment method.

Featured image from Shutterstock.