Survey Suggests Crypto Payments Beginning To Take Root In Moscow, Russia

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An estimated 1% of Moscow residents (approximately 120,000 people), use cryptocurrency as a means of payment, suggests a recent study by e-payment provider Yandex.

Muscovites warming up to crypto

Forbes Russia reported November 13, 2018, that a joint survey by Yandex.Money, and Moscow’s IT Department (DIT) found that most of the residents prefer non-cash payment systems.

The researchers carried out the poll via phone and sampled residents in the Russian capital.

Per the research, nearly 34 percent of Moscow residents prefer using cashless payment services, like mobile or online banking.

Of these, a majority (about 63 percent), use the non-cash payment services “at least once a day,” with 16 percent preferring electronic money.

However, just 1 percent of these people use cryptocurrencies, and a further 5 percent say that they are keen on exploring the crypto payments system.

Although the numbers appear negligent, the survey suggests that nearly 120,000 people use digital currencies in the Russian capital.

This is according to a poll of 1,000 respondents in a city of about 12 million residents. The figure suggests that crypto usage is likely to pick momentum in a country where the authorities have, until recently, been less than open to bitcoin use.

The September 2018 study shows that cryptocurrency is slowly making inroads as one of the cashless methods of payment.

Nonetheless, cryptocurrency usage still trails the use of bank cards, online banking, and mobile banking as preferred methods of cashless transactions.

But growing popularity for mobile-based payment apps might help hasten the adoption of crypto usage in the future, especially with the availability merchants eager and ready to accept crypto payments making it easy for users who wish to use digital currencies.

Regulatory clarity a big factor

One factor that may be “affecting” bitcoin use in Moscow could be a lack of regulatory transparency, which continues to blight the country’s crypto industry despite slightly positive developments within Parliament.

A lack of clarity from the regulators aside, Russia has seen a rapid increase in online exchangers which seems to point to rising adoption of crypto. Interestingly, the likely rise in crypto users could be happening despite the country’s central bank chief stating that crypto “craze” was quickly waning.

At the moment, though not prohibited, crypto isn’t considered legal tender in Russia. The situation seemingly alienates users who may find it difficult to liquidate their crypto holdings into local fiat.

Adopting crypto payments in Russia may also be hindered by an overall distrust towards non-cash and digital payments.

About 40percent of respondents said that they do not trust non-cash payments, with a fifth of that number saying that they have concerns about fraud, theft and huge fees.

Approximately 9 percent of the respondents do not utilize online payment services or cryptocurrencies because they lack a basic understanding of crypto and the underlying blockchain technology.

Yandex. Money’s survey report provides similar findings to one U.K poll earlier this month. The YouGov survey showed that a significant portion of the population “has heard” about crypto or have knowledge of someone who holds cryptocurrencies.

However, only 4 percent of YouGov respondents admitted to having an understanding of crypto and how it works.

Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets and are very risky investments. Do your research and consult an investment professional before investing. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. Never borrow money to invest in cryptocurrencies.

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