In brief:
Kaliningrad, one of the host cities for the 2018 FIFA World Cup will be accepting cryptocurrency payments for hotel rooms.

Just a few months are left when football fans will be flocking to Russia for this year’s FIFA World Cup. The good news for crypto users is that Kaliningrad, one of the host cities for the 2018 World Cup will be accepting cryptocurrency payments for hotel rooms.

Kaliningrad, the capital of Russia’s westernmost region, will host four matches on Jun. 16, 22, 25 and 28. Hotels in Kaliningrad have teamed up with a local payment provider to offer digital payment service. So as to enable users to make rooms payments with cryptocurrencies, Apartments Malina has partnered with the online payment system, Free-Kassa, reported Buying Business Travel Russia.

Apartments Malina’s manager, Anna Subbotina stated, “Crypto-currencies are now enjoying increased interest. Gradually they will come into use as a means of payment. And we decided that the fans should be able to pay for our services with the help of this innovative technology. It may very well be that other hotel [are] awaiting our example for the forthcoming football holiday.”

Months before the world cup kicks-off, hotel accommodation rates in host cities have started shooting up. FIFA World Cup 2018 will take place in eleven Russian cities, including Ekaterinburg, Moscow, Kazan, Saint Petersburg, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Sochi, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Saransk, and Kaliningrad. However, as of now, only Kaliningrad has made such announcement. There is a possibility that Saint Petersburg will also accept cryptocurrency payments as Free-Kassa has teamed up with Petersburg Social Commercial Bank (PSCB).

Vitaly Lavrov, Free-Kassa’s development director, says, “We did not have to cooperate with hotels and hotels in such a format. But the hospitality industry is very sensitive to such trends.”

Russia’s stance on cryptocurrency remains unclear. Recently, the country has drafted cryptocurrencies and ICOs regulation bill, “On Digital Financial Assets.” Another bill was submitted last week by the Ministry of Finance which lists cryptocurrencies as “financial assets” instead of a legal mode of payment.

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