Ulmart, a Russian online retailer, will accept bitcoin payments beginning Sept. 1
"Ulmart started closely monitoring the market and regulatory environment for the use of crypto-currency in Russia as early as March 2014," Dmitry Kostygin, chairman of Ulmart, said in a company press release. "As the blockchain technology is coming into our operations to fight counterfeit items, we see that the mystery that existed around the bitcoin three years ago has significantly receded."
The company has not yet determined which items will be available for purchase with bitcoin, but expects it may start out allowing the currency for high-priced marketplace items such as used cars and apartments.
"Life is ever in flux," Brian Kean, chief international officer of Ulmart, said in the release. "The bitcoin was created to offer security against fluctuations in hard currency. As the technology behind the crypto-currency slips unseen into our everyday lives via the Internet of Things, it has become one of those 'why not' moments. Tomorrow is today in the world of blockchain and as a leader Ulmart strives to be ahead of the market. We welcome the willingness that the Russian government has demonstrated with regards to the review of the bitcoin technology and look forward to cooperating with it in this area."
Ulmart offers nearly 150,000 different items online. A new marketplace on the site allows third-party sellers to offer additional merchandise. By the end of the year, the company estimates potentially 1 million more items available via third-party sellers.