In a surprising move last year, Russia took a liberal approach to not criminalize mining, buying and selling bitcoins. The cryptocurrency community in the country had started taking steps to promote the use of bitcoin since that period. In August last year, Moscow set up the first offline bitcoin exchange.

Buy and sell bitcoin anywhere around the world comes with their own set of rules and regulations and it is the same in Russia. Here, one could buy bitcoin through cash, credit/debit card, wire transfer as well as PayPal. There were many different exchanges that facilitate to buy and sell. There are a few exchanges that used to support cryptocurrencies in Russia such as CEO.IX, Coin Cafe (a New York-based exchange), Brawker,, and so on.

CEO.IX is a well know exchange that supports clients from Russia. These are the steps in order to purchase Bitcoin via CEX.IO.

Step 1 – Open a Digital Wallet

A digital wallet is where you hold your cryptocurrencies and interacts others via the blockchain technology. There are many providers of digital wallets, however, it is important to make a deep research before you decide which one is the best for you. Currently, the most popular digital wallets provider is

Step 2 – Register & Open an Account

Once you enter CEX.IO website, register and open an account that can provide you with their service.

Step 3 – Receive the 2FA Code

This is the authentication code as well as your password when you access CEX.IO.  The code will be generated by an application and will be delivered to you by SMS.

Step 4 – Purchase Bitcoin

Now you can easily purchase Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Note that you can always buy fractions of Bitcoin and CEX.IO allows you to choose fixed amounts with your own currency.

Choose the payment option that is most convenient for you.

In order to complete the purchase, the broker will ask you to verify your identity with documents and various details.

Bitcoin ATMs in Russia

Despite Russian government partially banning cryptocurrencies in the country, some exchanges continue to thrive, nonetheless. For instance, Russia-based InvestCoin24 will oversee the installation of Bitcoin ATMs in Moscow.

The project had modest beginnings when an ATM popped up in St. Petersburg. This ATM allowed users to buy bitcoin for a 4% fee. The machine was operated by crypto-currency exchange Bitlish and provides BitcoinEthereumLiteCoin, among others. The machine is located at a shopping center, on the Vasilevsky Island.

Now, there are 100 ATMs scheduled to be set up in Moscow by the end of 2017.

Previously, InvestCoin24 had installed one in Moscow as a dry run. Now, the company is planning to collaborate with airport owners to set up ATMs in the departure and arrival terminals which will give access to cryptocurrencies to those leaving and entering the country.

The company said they are relying on their own funds to get the project running, without the help of any external funding.

Earlier this year, Russian startup CoinSpot had apparently brought one of the first bitcoin ATMs to Moscow.

Another encouraging sign that crypto-currencies are the next big thing in Russia was that Russia’s third most populated city Novosibirsk saw 10 bitcoin ATMs installed by a local startup. The practice of installing ATMs in different cities in Russia has been growing day by day but as of today, the government does not seem to have taken any action against these as yet.

Most of the terminals are located in stores selling bottled beverages. The initial plan was to set them up in the city’s high-end shopping malls, but the rents were high. It took three months to develop the software operating the machines and the machine will levy a charge of 6% on each transaction. It is indeed a costly way to buy bitcoins but considering the volatility that we have been seeing in the Bitcoin prices, many of the Russians still believe that it is a good way to trade this instrument and apart from using it as a method of payment across borders, they also use this to speculate on the prices of bitcoin so that they could make some quick profit on the Bitcoin’s price movements which seem to be headed only one way of late.

A local Russian daily stated that by the end of 2017, there will be around 100 one-way crypto-currency ATMs that will dot Moscow. Apart from airports, InvestCoin24 will install some terminals in hotels to make sure Bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrencies are accessible to whoever seeks them.