The Russian World Cup is underway and it is all going to happen in two weeks’ time. The host country is going to be taking on Saudi Arabia on the 14th of June and the price for Bitcoin could be set for a rise as well. Football fans really are descending on the country and this could mean great news for a lot of different industries. In Russia, digital payments have become very fraught over the last couple of years and you may even have noticed that Mastercard and even visa have been blocking credit services to some Russian banks. This is the result of the US sanctions that were put in place in 2014. The pair have developed a way around these sanctions and today they still process over 90% of transactions in the country. Even though this is the case, there is still certainly a lot of friction when it comes to digital payments and the way that they are made. Last year for example, both Mastercard and Visa were blocked from Fintech. This is known as being the Russian centre for technology and the Kremlin are still trying to bring their own domestic payment system into the spotlight, which is currently known as being called Mir.
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Some people have started to turn to Bitcoin and this is so that they can try and pay their way to the Russian World Cup. What’s even more interesting is that you were actually able to bet on the World Cup in Brazil (2014) by using Bitcoin as well. It has also been revealed that some of the hotels in Kaliningrad will be playing host to some of the games and they do accept Bitcoin. Some airlines and travel agents have also announced that they are accepting the currency and the use of Bitcoin on the exchange really is something that people have been struggling with. This is because the fees for Bitcoin spiked in December and a lot of different things went down. When Bitcoin was at its peak there were over 400,000 transactions every single day and this happened at the end of 2017. This has now fallen to well over half, and the whole thing now stands at 200,000 transactions per day. That being said, the fees are down as well, and this can only mean good things for the currency.
Thorsten Koeppl is a professor of economics in Canada and he has stated that the value of Bitcoin really is driven by the potential of it being used as a payment tool. The fees rose as the price rose and people are even using Bitcoin for international transfers as well. This is way too expensive to even try and do right now, but at the end of the day, the price is still very much supported. Bitcoin really is a means of exchange and the utility will rise with the demand of it. This will push up the price and it will also mean that the cycle will start again. One issue that a lot of people are experiencing is that Bitcoin did struggle a lot in 2018 and this is after it hit a high of $19,000 last year. Bitcoin, along with a ton of other cryptocurrencies have slumped in the last few weeks and investors are worried that this trend will carry on.