The Russian Central Bank crackdown on illegal gambling transactions has led to increased use of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, an investigation by The Bell has revealed.
According to one of the publication's reporters, Russian citizens remain “cut off” from foreign gambling markets, as the Central Bank has stepped in to suspend many unauthorized transactions.
Yet, Bitcoin has remained fairly intact, with the cryptocurrency still enabling people in the country to freely access gambling markets, and even some crypto casinos.
While the country does not have a clear framework on online gambling, it mostly prohibits internet businesses, as per a new decree signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Central Bank has already blocked payments through Qiwi and Yoo.Money temporarily to send a clear message that payment companies facilitating gambling transfers would suffer legal consequence.
Meanwhile, some ten processing companies have been fined and Fintekh and Onego, two innovative payment processors, have had their licenses suspended under Russian law for reportedly violating legal statutes related to gambling.
So, can crypto be a buoy for Russian players? Yes and no. While the perceived anonymity of Bitcoin is there, Russia can actually use the public addresses available in the blockchain ledger and determine where transactions are coming from.
In other words, authorities will be able to trace where Bitcoin is coming from in the country and possibly block transactions.
While casinos such as Bitcasino, 1xBit and FortuneJack are definitely happy to accept all Russian players, it's always a good idea to make sure playing from the country would not conflict with the local law.