22 BTC ATMs Confiscated in Russia

Russian authorities have confiscated a total of 22 cryptocurrency telling machines (BATMs) scattered around cafes and shops in nine varying cities. The order was issued by the CBR and the nation's prosecutor’s office.


The BATMs confiscated are managed by Bbfpro, the operators of a number of cryptocurrency ATMs around the country. The company has appealed to the support of the reputable lawyer Sarkis Darbiyan of the DRC. The attorney and his business are primarily based on supporting digital currency and blockchain firms with their legal affairs.

Bedarev, the head of Bbfpro's management, has reported that there was no formal notice sent to him by the officials before the confiscation, but rather telling him nformally that the ATMs will stay confiscated for half a year for investigations. They added that the machines are not to be returned before the investigation is over.

The confiscation order was directly issued by the Prosecutor General after the office have received a request from Russia’s central bank (CBR).

However, the CBR refrained from giving out any information about the case or the operation itself- they could only say that the confiscation was to fight illegal actions in the market, according to a CBR representative. He explained that a system allowing cross-border payments and transfers may result into more people using crypto as a means to commit crime, so authorities wish to take preventative measures.

The Appeal

Darbinyan, however, wishes to appeal the matter. He described how the Russian legal system does not stop consumers from dealing with cryptocurrency, and that the firm in question is very aware of the legal risks and conditions. As a result, they take steps to follow all the legal procedures in place, and request ID verification from all users, even when it is not entirely essential. On their side, they pay taxes to the government for their crypto-related dealings.

Bbfpro is calculating the damage caused by the seizure of their BATMs, and are planning to rebut the officials' actions. The cost of setup for a BATM is $2,300, which equals 155,000 rubles in Russia, plus a 1% fee for the registered turnover. The company works on Exmo, a famous digital currency in Russia, and allow for the purchase of BTC and other virtual currencies.

The fact remains that Russia has not yet decided on its path in regards to legalizing cryptocurrency. At the moment, any related activities to cryptocurrency trading, including the funding and mining processes, are still not entirely legal. However, this will be decided in Fall at the State Duma. It was supposed to happen before the start of the summer, as the first reading was hosted by Russia’s parliament who voted 3 bills into the system to attract investments using crypto, DFAs, and Digital Rights. The situation is aimed to conclude in September, though, as the deputies could not finalize the drafts before the beginning of this quarter.

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