Hotels in Kaliningrad, Russia, will let football fans pay for their accommodations with bitcoin when they visit the country for this year’s FIFA World Cup, which will be from June 14 to July 15.
It has been reported that some hotels in Kaliningrad are teaming up with a local payment provider to make available the service. Apartments Malina hotel owner said it has already joined forces with Free-Kassa, an online platform that supports cryptocurrency payments, including those made with bitcoin.
“We are seeing increasing interest in cryptocurrencies,” said the manager of Apartments Malina, Anna Subbotina. “They will gradually come into use as a means of payment. We have decided that fans should be able to pay for our services with the help of this innovative technology.”
The 2018 FIFA World Cup is the first global event to be held in Russia. The football games will be held at 12 stadiums in 11 Russian cities. Kaliningrad will welcome teams and supporters from Belgium, Croatia, England, Spain, Serbia, Switzerland, Morocco and Nigeria. Average booking prices has already skyrocketed to $300 for a room for June 28, when England will face Belgium in the city. This massive increase in hotel prices has happened in other Russian host cities as well.
“This is an interesting experience for us – we haven’t worked with hotels so far,” said the Development Manager at Free-Kassa Vitaliy Lavrov. “The hospitality industry is quite sensitive towards new trends.”
For the time being, the Russian law is very ambiguous when it comes to cryptocurrency payments. But recently two bills have been presented to the parliament, and they could possibly make cryptocurrencies legal in the country.
The first one, the law “On Digital Financial Assets”, will give legal status to blockchain technologies, mining procedures and initial coin offerings (ICO). The second law concerns Russia’s Civil Code regarding the regulation of the cryptocurrency use and also protecting investor rights. The laws’ adoption is anticipated to happen just before the start of the FIFA World Cup.