The first bitcoin embassy in the CIS has opened on Lviv Square in Kyiv (Kiev), reports tech blog AIN.UA The initiator of the project was Kuna, an agency dedicated to the sale of bitcoins.
Kyiv is joining three similar bitcoin embassies in the world, located in Montreal, Tel-Aviv, and Warsaw. Within the embassy, there is a bitcoin ATM and a store for bitcoin souvenirs. However, the main function of this embassy will be educational.
The embassy carries out the functions of an information center, acting as a unified spot for the bitcoin community, for the representatives of Bitcoin Foundation Ukraine, and an educational center. Each Friday between 11am and 1pm, the embassy will host seminars where it will be possible to discuss relevant questions about bitcoins and share experiences over a cup of coffee.
Bitcoin Foundation Ukraine was created in April 2014. Through the organization, activists aim to increase the popularity within Ukraine of bitcoin, which is the most popular cryptocurrency and to legal and regulatory framework, which will allow market participants to come out of the “grey area.”
The embassy also acts as the headquarters for Kuna, which has handled the sale of bitcoins in Ukraine since March. Mikhail Chobayan, founder of the agency. earlier told AIN that the agency is the first in the post-Soviet area to openly sell bitcoins.
A panacea for Crimea?
Bitcoins may become a panacea for residents of the occupied territories of Ukraine, especially for Crimeans, as bitcoins may allow those in Crimea to pay for purchases made online. “Crimea has been fully deprived of an international banking system and activities involving international exchange are virtually impossible there. I am referring to purchases made online, payment for goods and services, financial operations, and so forth,” said Chobayan.
If you wish to pay for goods and services through standard methods, such as a bank, experts say that residents in the Crimea must exert a great deal of effort. To do this, you must go to a department of the bank, stand in line, open an account, and insert rubles. And then you must go to the Krasnodar region, visit a different bank, open an account there, take funds from the Crimean account to the continental, and only then make a payment. “It is unrealistic for a busy person to do this procedure. Therefore, my colleagues from Sevastopol and Simferopol buy bitcoins with rubles and freely pay for all that they need,” says Chobayan.