P2P trading thriving in Russia despite regulatory uncertainty

Russia’s digital currency market has continued to grow despite a lack of regulatory clarity from the government, according to a new report. The report revealed that peer-to-peer digital currency trading has soared in the past year as Russians seeks alternatives to their monolithic banking system.

The report, shared with CoinGeek by leading P2P trading platform Paxful, showcased a thriving digital currency ecosystem in Russia despite the threat to ban their usage earlier this year. However, since then, the government’s stance has softened, culminating in President Vladimir Putin signing a new law that gives legal status to digital currencies.

Ray Youssef, the founder and CEO of Paxful, believes that the new law will go a long way in boosting the growth of the Russian digital currency market. In an interview with CoinGeek, he said:

“With the recent version of the law, Russian users will be able to buy, sell, trade, and even mine cryptocurrencies. This development can result in a boost in crypto usage in the country and more people can take part in an inclusive financial system.”

Paxful has seen rapid growth in its Russian operation, recording a 350% year-on-year growth since May last year. This year has especially been great for the company, registering a 41% and 50% month-on-month growth in April and May respectively.

The coronavirus pandemic has been a big factor in attracting Russians to digital currencies as it has exposed the loopholes that exist in the traditional financial system. However, Paxful’s manager for the Russian market believes it goes beyond the pandemic.

He stated, “Crisis aside, Russia has always had a monolithic banking system that is dominated by a few players, and the sentiment we get is that Russians are increasingly looking to find alternative ways to grow their earnings and participate in the financial markets. Bitcoin within the P2P context allows them much more freedom to do so – and our data is proving it.”

Paxful recently announced that it had hit 4.5 million wallets worldwide, with $4.6 billion in traded volume. The company has been signing up over one million users every year, and as Youssef revealed to CoinGeek, the platform is on track to sign up 2 million users this year.

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