The first opened offline exchange desk for cryptocurrencies in Russia has commenced operations in Moscow, local media Bankir.ru reported earlier this week. The people behind the project operate e-exchange BTC24pro on LocalBitcoins.com, a peer-to-peer BitCoin trading platform.
The exchange, which is open 24/7, allows clients to exchange BitCoins for Russian rubles (RUS). It, however, does not currently allow the sale of BitCoins. All transactions are executed privately and subject to 4% fees over the BTC e-exchange rates during daytime and 10% fees at night.
If the project turns successful, more such offline BitCoin exchanges could appear and its creators are considering its legalization in order to avoid claims by law enforcement agencies, according to the media.
Russia is undertaking actions to ban the trade in cryptocurrencies, BitCoin included, within the country, according to earlier media reports. Instead, it intends to introduce its own national cryptocurrency. The Central Bank of Russia (CBR), however, has not come up with an official statement on the matter. Meanwhile, Japan and the European Union are making their way towards a legal framework where cryptocurrencies are better regulated.