The inhabitants of the Crimean peninsula have found a way out of the intricate situation in economics they have had to deal with for 6 months – the Bitcoin payments.
As a result of the referendum on the status of Crimea held on March 16, 2014, when the majority of the Crimean population voted for integration of the region into the Russian Federation, the local residents are reported to have started experiencing difficulties accessing essential services, including banking. Michael Chobanian, head of the Ukrainian bitcoin agency KUNA, sees the de-facto separation of Crimea from Ukraine the main reason why the Crimeans started to actively use BTC to purchase goods and items on the Internet.
According to Chobanian, Crimea remains completely outside of the international banking system, which means there is no chance at all to conduct any foreign economic activity on the peninsula. The only solution for shopping, payments and financial transactions is the Internet. If you go the usual way, you’ll end up in a bank, standing in a queue to open an account and make a ruble deposit. Then you would have to wait hours in another queue in order to get to the mainland. Once in Krasnodar Krai, you would need to go to another bank, open an account there, and then transfer your funds from a Crimean account to the one you opened in a Krasnodar bank; only then will you eventually be able to effect your payment.
“Seems unrealistic for busy people. That is why my colleagues from Sevastopol and Simferopol switched to Bitcoin payments; they purchase BTC with rubles and then pay for whatever they need with Bitcoin” – Chobanian sums up.