Resurging cryptocurrency markets have lifted the mood across the crypto space. The global community hopes to see the continuation of the positive trend that has the potential to restore popular interest in decentralized digital currencies, along with the upcoming Bitcoin halving.
The first signs this might be happening are already here with worldwide Google searches for bitcoin hitting a monthly high in February.
A growing number of platforms allow Russian residents to purchase cryptocurrencies with local fiat money. Established cryptocurrency exchanges are not the most trouble-free option, however, as they often require extensive registration and rarely support popular payment methods in the region, unlike small online exchangers and peer-to-peer platforms.
Russian Users Ask Search Engines How to Buy Bitcoin
Russia, as а promising market for cryptocurrencies, is no exception. Russian searches for “биткоин” (bitcoin) on both Google and Yandex have been increasing. In the past month, Russian speaking users have been asking the search engines about bitcoin’s current rates in U.S. dollar and Russian ruble and over the past week there’s been a 350% spike in Google queries about the bitcoin cash (BCH) rate on Google. “Buy bitcoin” is a common keyword combination on Yandex Search.
There’s plenty of options to keep an eye on moving crypto prices nowadays. For example, Bitcoin.com’s Bitcoin Markets tool provides real-time price updates in both dollars and rubles among multiple fiat currencies. The platform is also available in Russian and you can chose your preferred language and currency from the settings. Various Russian sources offer market data for leading cryptocurrencies including specialized websites such as Bitcoininfo.ru, the crypto section of the business news portal RBC, and the analytics page on the Forex broker Alpari’s website.
Russian Online Crypto Exchangers Thrive
Despite persisting regulatory uncertainty, Russians have many options to buy cryptocurrencies at their disposal. Numerous platforms support crypto purchases in local currency. The Bestchange.ru website offers multiple choices in terms of digital coins and payment methods. It lists dozens of verified online exchangers that are monitored constantly for best rates and lets you choose a cryptocurrency you want to buy or sell as well as a payment method you would like to use to send or receive electronic fiat.
The portal gathers some interesting statistics about the most popular trades and exchangers. In the past couple of weeks, for example, buying BTC using Qiwi had the largest share of all exchanges, 9%. Qiwi is a well-known e-wallet provider in Russia and you can create a wallet using only a phone number or log in with a social media account from Facebook, Vkontakte and Google. Selling BTC for funds transferred to a Sberbank account is the second most popular deal, at 8%.
The list of utilized exchangers includes less conspicuous platforms that are also less problematic for traders. You can try Netex24, which accounts for 5% of all trades through Bestchange.ru, to buy and sell several major cryptos such as BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, and the stablecoin USDT with the leading fiat payment processors in Russia and neighboring countries like Yandex Money, Tinkoff, and Ukrainian Privatbank’s internet banking service Приват24. Among the leaders are also 365Cash (4%), which does not require user registration, and Шахта (3%), which supports purchases with bank cards issued by Visa, Mastercard, and the Russian Mir system.
Binance Adds Russian Ruble to Its P2P Platform
Cryptocurrency exchanges are also catering to the needs of the region’s traders. These include local leaders such as Exmo and Currency.com as well as global platforms like Huobi with its Huobi Russia branch that accepts rubles, and Binance, which has a Russian version of its website and supports ruble-denominated trading. This week, Binance also added the Russian ruble to its peer-to-peer (P2P) trading platform making it the third supported fiat currency after providing services for the Chinese yuan and the Vietnamese dong. Commenting on the announcement, CEO Changpeng Zhao stated:
Russia is a vibrant market for blockchain and crypto advancement. We strive to provide our Russian users with easy fiat-to-crypto access. P2P trading provides an open marketplace and more flexible access for users to trade multiple cryptocurrencies with other users or merchants in the payment methods they prefer.
Russians are awaiting greater regulatory clarity regarding the crypto space. The adoption of the Law on Digital Financial Assets, the most important of three crypto-related bills, has been postponed many times since the spring of 2018, with the Central Bank of Russia and the Ministry of Finance arguing about the scope of the legal framework and the status of decentralized cryptocurrencies. According to a recent statement by the chairman of the parliamentary Financial Market Committee, Anatoly Aksakov, Russian regulators have managed to settle their disagreements on the legalization of crypto assets and the law is likely to be voted in by the State Duma in March.