Where can you spend your bitcoins in 2020?

Bitcoin (BTC) is a digital alternative to traditional money. But so far, Bitcoin cannot compete with fiat currency.

RusCoins.info decided to find out what can be paid with bitcoins in Russia, how to pay with cryptocurrency, what are the advantages and disadvantages of using bitcoin as a means of payment, the future of cryptocurrency transactions.

Is it possible to live without fiat money?

In the summer of 2020, only the lazy did not talk about cryptocurrency. If previously Bitcoin was used on the darknet, paying for transactions for the purchase and sale of weapons and other illegal goods, then after the rate soared, people began to seriously think: could cryptocurrency revolutionize the financial market?

Just a year ago, 99% of workers would have twirled their fingers at their temples when asked to receive their salaries in cryptocurrency. But today many already receive bitcoin instead of the ruble for their work. For example, Evgeny Savelyev, CEO of Huston Digital, works outsourced and receives a salary in cryptocurrency. Evgeniy works with cryptocurrencies and provides services for preparing mining farms and writing programs for collecting information.

The CEO of the social network on the Golos.io blockchain, Sergei Simanovsky, lives similarly on cryptocurrency. There are many examples where employees receive salaries in Bitcoin or Ethereum, but the labor is associated with cryptocurrency and outsourcing. There are no cases yet where a salesperson at Pyaterochka receives a salary in crypto. The reason for this is the legislator’s attitude towards Bitcoin, the ban on its use as a means of payment. And the seller, most likely, would be against receiving bitcoin instead of rubles.

What is the advantage of using cryptocurrency - exchange for any currency of another country. What's the downside? Cryptocurrency has to be exchanged for fiat. Without this, it is impossible to fully use the money, since there are few services that accept Bitcoin for payment. Bitcoin is not accepted by the grocery store near your home, although the service is generally more common with individuals than with large companies.

Online shopping

The most obvious way to spend virtual money in the real world is to visit online stores that accept Bitcoin. In fact, there are hundreds of them - from giants like Aliexpress or Overstock to tiny specialty stores with clothes, food, jewelry and other products. For example, mustache cosmetics, leather accessories or certain meat snacks.

If a store accepts Bitcoin, the site will display an orange and white Bitcoin logo, usually at the bottom of the home page along with other payment methods. There may be other options, for example, the phrase “they accept Bitcoin for payment here.” Experts recommend always being aware of this option: some services announced it but removed the reminder due to technical problems, local laws or due to low popularity.

The payment process is quite simple: after the purchase, the system generates a Bitcoin address to send payment or a QR code to scan using an e-wallet on a mobile device. This is the most vulnerable part of the process: if the user makes a mistake when copying and pasting before clicking the “Submit” button, he will have neither goods nor money: Bitcoin transactions are irreversible.

Some sites use a payment processor (such as Bitpay or Coinbase) for incoming payments, so the customer is redirected to another page to get the total Bitcoin amount and destination address.

Confirmation that the service accepts bitcoins as payment

Payment with Bitcoins

Payment with bitcoins in Russia, what goods and services can be purchased

Shopping with Bitcoin in Russia is not very developed. But if you want to introduce a couple of tenths of Bitcoin into circulation, you can find many areas of application.

Travel, hotels, air tickets

If you have Bitcoin in your pocket, you can easily fly to the other side of the world. Use expedia.com to book flights, accommodations and even car rentals using Bitcoin. A similar service will be provided by cheapair.com and travelforcoins.com. And if you need to fly from St. Petersburg or Moscow using bitcoins, use the air carrier AirBaltic.

Restaurants, cafes

Inspired by the story of Laszlo Hynex, who spent 10,000 BTC on 2 pizzas in May 2010, the guys opened the website PizzaForCoins.com, where you can order pizza for Bitcoin. Enter the city, select possible pizzerias, place your order, pay - and warm pizza rushes to your home by courier. You can eat for Bitcoin at Killfish, BurgerKing, the Valenok restaurant on Tsvetnoy Boulevard, at the Headquarters coffee shop and Coffee In.

Fitness clubs

You can pay for a gym membership at NanoFitness in Tyumen and St. Petersburg. True, the owners of the fitness club said that they had to face the prosecutor’s office after they added Bitcoin to the payment methods. Since cryptocurrency is illegal, the legislator sees money laundering and tax evasion in transactions with Bitcoin. It is worth noting that the owners of establishments are not against paying taxes and introducing cryptocurrency into the legal field, but it is easier for the legislator to ban an unusual means of payment than to find competent regulation.

Online stores

eBay, Amazon, FastTech accept cryptocurrency. From Russian stores you can pay with Bitcoin at Ulmart. If you cannot find any product or store that accepts Bitcoin, contact the gyft.com service, which sells gift certificates.

Other products and services

You can buy VPN, Microsoft software products and applications in the AppStore with Bitcoin. Using cpay.io you can transfer Bitcoin to your phone.

Oddly enough, cryptocurrency is very popular among individual entrepreneurs and private legal entities. Find out if your tattoo artist or manicurist accepts Bitcoin as payment. In small towns it’s unlikely, but if you live in Moscow or St. Petersburg, this situation is real. The reason for this is ease of use. There is no need to contact banks, write papers to provide a terminal, or enter into an agreement to open and maintain an account. To pay with Bitcoin you need a mobile phone and the Internet.

Which stores accept bitcoins in Russia?

When figuring out how to pay for a purchase with cryptocurrency, you should remember that most stores do not accept virtual money. To avoid any difficulties, you should make sure in advance that the selected company agrees to such a calculation.

Special attention should be paid to the payment rules. This is especially true for trading sites and payment platforms.

Sometimes they charge a fee, which makes future transactions pointless.

And the main rule that all Bitcoin owners must remember is the requirement to be careful. The sharp increase in the popularity of online money has led to the emergence of a huge number of scammers. Therefore, you should contact only trusted companies or those organizations that you can definitely trust.

Advantages of paying BTC for purchases

  1. Unlike fiat currency, Bitcoin transactions are protected by a consensus mechanism using cryptography.
  2. Bitcoin cannot be counterfeited. Despite the high degree of security of paper money, cases of counterfeiting still occur.
  3. Bitcoin is issued by miners in the quantities necessary to carry out transactions. You can’t just print cryptocurrencies and then carry out denomination and devaluation - there are no such phenomena in cryptocurrency.
  4. Transactions with BTC are anonymous, the owner’s personal information is disclosed only in the case of withdrawal of the cryptocurrency into fiat.
  5. Bitcoin eliminates the participation of intermediaries in the transaction. There is no need to pay interest on transactions to banks and payment systems. In the world of cryptocurrency, only exchangers and stock exchanges keep a percentage when converting currencies. And the internal percentage of the blockchain for carrying out a transaction is extremely small.

In other words, due to anonymity, Bitcoin allows you not to declare income. Transactions with cryptocurrency are more secure than with regular currency. Hackers carry out attacks on cryptocurrency wallets, but they are rarely successful.

Disadvantages of using Bitcoin as a means of payment

  1. Electricity required. This drawback also applies to fiat electronic money in plastic card accounts. In this regard, coins and paper banknotes will give a head start to any cryptocurrencies.
  2. Transactions using Bitcoin are illegal. Most countries recognize their national currency as legal tender. The legislator of the Russian Federation followed this path when considering new bills on cryptocurrency, according to which Bitcoin and other coins are not legal means of payment. That is, transactions made using cryptocurrency are outside the legal framework and are not subject to the application of the Law “On Protection of Consumer Rights”. If you pay for an item with cryptocurrency but do not receive it, it will be impossible to prove anything in court. This gives space for scammers, swindlers and dishonest people.
  3. High volatility of cryptocurrency. Volatility is price variability. A striking example of volatility is the story of American Laszlo Hynex, who in 2010 bought 2 pizzas for 10,000 BTC. At that time, the rate of 1 bitcoin was $0.5. Today, even taking into account the collapse of the exchange rate, 10,000 BTC costs $32,997,121.35. You can lose big on transactions using cryptocurrency or, conversely, win.

What awaits Bitcoin in Russia - subtleties of legislation

Before choosing BTC and investing money in it, it is important to understand the fate of cryptocurrency in the Russian Federation. Since 2014, the Russian government has been discussing the risks and opportunities of cryptocurrency. However, opinions were divided. Some argue that Bitcoin needs to be legalized following the example of Belarus, while others claim the opposite - the need for a complete ban on virtual money or its strict regulation.

The main event of spring 2020 is the appearance of a bill on the regulation of cryptocurrency and tokens. Information about its transfer to the State Duma was announced at the end of March, and it is planned to consider it by the summer. The document states that virtual money refers to electronic property. It is also determined here that coins differ in the method of mining and the technology on which they are built.

The new bill has a provision that allows you to exchange Bitcoins and other coins for rubles. This is due to the fact that virtual money will not be perceived as a means of payment, and therefore it will not be possible to exchange it for Russian rubles. The rule does not apply to tokens. They can be converted not only into national currency, but also into money from other countries. But the condition will only come into force if the bill is approved.

Representatives of the Central Bank believe that freedom in the use of cryptocurrency will lead to an increase in illegal transactions. Therefore, only tokens are given the green light. At the same time, miners producing virtual money will be able to sell them abroad. This means that Bitcoin will not circulate in Russia (at least legally).

The 2020 bill pays special attention to miners. Now only those market participants who are individual entrepreneurs or have the status of legal entities will have access to cryptocurrency mining. To start an activity, you will have to register your status with the tax office, and then pay taxes. If this is not done, the violator will face penalties. It is planned to calculate miners based on excess electricity costs.

Experts assure that the position of the Russian Government regarding mining is erroneous. Cryptocurrency mining cannot be classified as a business activity, because we are talking about creating a digital code, not making a profit. If Bitcoins are exchanged for dollars, tax cuts seem logical. Otherwise, the bill will lead to miners leaving Russia for other countries, for example, Belarus, where cryptocurrency mining is allowed and is not taxed.

While the government of the country is thinking about the future of virtual money, the people are forced to proceed from the current situation and use the benefits that are available. Today the answer to the question of whether it is possible to buy Bitcoins in Russia is affirmative. What will happen next is still unknown.

Russia and the rest of the world: comparing the availability of goods for bitcoin

To see how things are going with cryptocurrency in other countries, RusCoins.info recommends turning to the Coinmap.org service. It is a world map with geolocations of ATMs and establishments that accept Bitcoin. A similar service is provided by SpendBitcoins.com. A Bitcoin ATM will help you find the CoinATMRadar service.

In Europe and America, Bitcoin has become as common a means of payment as Visa or MasterCard. In Russia, unfortunately, not yet. The same goes for the neighbors. In Belarus in Minsk, Bitcoin is accepted for payment in an Apple equipment store, an automotive electronics store, an electronic cigarette and mobile phone store. Some private entrepreneurs accept Bitcoin as rent for an apartment for a day. In the regional city of Brest, Bitcoin is accepted at the Altair cafe.

However, in order for the payment to take place legally, the scheme is a little complicated: first, the owner of the establishment makes a card payment through the cash register, and the buyer already transfers the cryptocurrency from the wallet to the owner’s account. In small towns such as Molodechno and Baranovichi, it is possible to pay with bitcoin in cafes and online stores, but so far no one has expressed a desire to pay a check in cryptocurrency.

A striking transaction using cryptocurrency happened in Minsk in the summer of 2017. In the wake of cryptocurrency hype, an article appeared on the Internet that teacher Gennady bought a two-room apartment in the center of Minsk for bitcoins. While his peers were mastering “tanks” and other games, Gennady quietly mined bitcoins for his apartment.

Also in 2020, in Minsk they tried to sell a 4-room apartment for 30 BTC. We don’t know whether the owners of the apartment managed to find buyers, but the advertisement is no longer on the website.

Where can you pay with bitcoins in Russia?

While most crypto money owners are wondering how to pay with bitcoins, some of the most enterprising people are actively using their savings.

Most often, virtual finances are used to pay on the Internet. This is especially true for foreign stores and companies. In this case, sellers do not have to worry about conversion and carry out complex operations; they simply need to accept the payment.

But real bars, cafes and shops are gradually appearing where you can pay with cybercurrency. Usually a QR code is used for payment, but sometimes you can do without it. Details should be obtained from sellers, since the country has not yet developed a unified system for accepting such payment for services and each organization is looking for its own approach.

User reviews about paying for goods in Russia with Bitcoin

Users have different attitudes towards paying for goods and services with Bitcoin. Frequent review: “Cryptocurrency is a pyramid”

For example, user Anellena writes:

It seems to me, or Bitcoin is just another MMM type pyramid.

But, in fact, the currency is a pyramid that is not backed by anything.

Another user “britnispirzzz”, on the contrary, predicts the decline of fiat money:

The era of cash is coming to an end. Cash payment limits are being reduced. Switzerland is thinking about abandoning cash altogether. We will come to this in half a century. Cryptocurrency is a mattress bank, inaccessible to the gaze of the state.

Can Bitcoin replace fiat?

Whether people will be able to give up paper money is a moot point.
Money in material form has existed for more than 2000 thousand years. Paper bills and coins are easy for anyone to use. Cryptocurrency is complex and accessible to few. And we are unlikely to get to the point where it will be possible to pay with Bitcoin in a village store. For quite a long time, people refused to receive salaries in paper envelopes and got used to the introduction of plastic cards. Utility payments are now available from a computer or smartphone, but queues at banks have not disappeared. Cryptocurrency is the future, but not everyone is ready for it. Great article 1

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