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“Vedomosti” found a market for exchangers in Moscow, where bitcoins are changed to dollars and rubles

Through him, anonymous operations with millions of dollars, and this is not controlled by law.

“Vedomosti” learned about the market of exchangers crypto-currency in Moscow. The publication talked with the leaders of two large companies that are engaged in the transfer of crypto-currencies into dollars and rubles.

The interlocutors of the newspaper explained the growth of the exchangers market by the desire of customers to anonymity, since the exchanges require to confirm the identity for the output of the crypto currency. The Russian authorities have not yet decided how to regulate crypto-currencies. In May, the State Duma adopted in the first reading the draft law “On Digital Financial Assets”, which does not recognize crypto currency as a legitimate means of payment, and allows only accredited operators to exchange rubles for rubles.

“Corporation Berkut”, works with “large volumes” crypto-currency. Her office is located in one of the Moscow-City skyscrapers. In the room there are leather sofas, hookahs, a stereo system, a plasma screen, joysticks and equipment for mining. Director of the company Denis Polokhin explained that this is necessary so that customers can relax: “a strict atmosphere will create unnecessary tension when it comes to transactions for the exchange of more than $ 100,000.”

Polokhin explained how the company works in the conditions of Russian legislation: customers must confirm the origin of money that they bring for exchange. The owner must also pass a multifactor identity check.

Denis Polokhin. Photo by Evgeny Razumny, Vedomosti

Polokhin noted that besides the exchange of crypto-currencies, Berkut is engaged in the construction and development of IT solutions and asks to mention charitable projects. “Vedomosti” did not find the current legal entity of the company, which would correspond to such activities. Polokhin did not name it, nor did the income from the activity.

The second company visited by the correspondent of Vedomosti is the International Crypto-Currency Center, which is also located in Moscow City. It opened in November 2017, you can get into it “right from the street” – in the windows there are signs with proposals for selling crypto currency.

Managing Partner of the Cryptocenter, Roman Krainyak, says that the company is working “absolutely officially” and “does not even think of hiding.” The main business of the company is various operations with crypto-currency assets, and not bitcoins exchange. Legality is provided by the Estonian company Aridika Asset Management, as in the country it is possible to obtain state licenses for exchange and other operations with crypto currency.

Roman Krainyak

Customers of crypto-currencies are divided into several categories, Polokhin says. About 50% of the daily convertible money is provided by investors who need the crypto currency for investments in the ICO. About 10% are traders who buy bitcoins for the game on the stock exchange. Another 10% are second-hand dealers who resell the crypto currency with a higher commission.

How the currency is traded in the clothing markets of Moscow

Another 30% of the turnover is brought to large exchangers by no means by investors or traders, but by merchants from the Moscow clothing markets. Several of them immediately told “Vedomosti” about natives of China, working primarily in the market “Sadovod” and in the shopping center “Moscow”. They allegedly are the main buyers of cash for cash in Moscow.

In March 2018, a specialist in the banking sector, Mikhail Zhukhovitsky, wrote in Facebook that the money from “Sadovod” and TC “Moscow” are exported to China to pay for goods using crypto-currency. In April, the information on these two markets, as well as “Food City” on the 22nd kilometer of the Kaluga Highway was confirmed by the Director of the Department for Financial Monitoring and Currency Control of the Central Bank Yuri Polupanov. In his estimation, the calculations for such operations amount to 600 billion rubles a month.

There are several money transfer services at the “Gardener”, but their employees advised them to contact the exchange offices after the question of buying bitcoins. At one of the points, the employee confirmed that there is a seller of crypto-currencies in the market, but added that he “only deals in very large amounts”. He also advised me to return to Moscow City, where “there are more retail offers”. Representatives of the group of companies “Kiev Square”, which belongs to “Sadovod” and “Moscow” did not respond to the query “Vedomosti”, whether the lessor knows about operations with crypto-currencies.

How much does the exchange of crypto-currency

Interlocutors Vedomosti, which are engaged in the exchange of cash for cash, refused to answer how much business they bring. They agreed in opinion that daily such operations in Moscow reach several tens of millions of dollars.

Even before the transaction, the seller and the buyer agree on the amount of the commission. Its price, as a rule, is indicated as a difference to one of the popular exchanges. At the moment of falling demand, the price of offline exchangers may be lower than the exchange one. The seller will earn on the difference in several transactions.

The average commission is 1.5-2%, and the daily turnover of exchangers – 10-20 million dollars. From this it follows that the Moscow exchangers earn up to 400 thousand dollars a day or up to 12 million dollars a month.

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