Russia Blocks Cryptocurrency Websites Ahead of Regulation
Russian authorities have blocked a number of websites related to cryptocurrency ahead of the country’s crypto regulation taking effect. A popular exchange aggregator website has already been blocked twice and has now received a third notice.
Russia Determined to Block Crypto Sites
Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) has blocked popular Russian cryptocurrency exchange monitoring website Bestchange.ru for the third time. The platform informed its users via Facebook on Wednesday:
Dear subscribers, our Bestchange.ru domain has again been blocked in the Russian Federation. Unfortunately, regional prosecutors continue to sue to block Bestchange and other sites for mentioning the bitcoin cryptocurrency.
Bestchange.ru further explained that it had been investigating how to unblock its domain but testing may take some time. The free website helps users find the best offers online, including the best rates for cryptocurrencies, electronic money, and internet banking. The service, launched in 2007, is not restricted to just cryptocurrency.
According to bits.media, this is the third time Roskomnadzor has blocked Bestchange.ru. The first time was in 2017, which was canceled in 2018. The second time was in March last year when the Kuibyshevsky District Court of Omsk issued an order to block Bestchange.ru along with other cryptocurrency exchange websites. It was canceled in May of the same year. “According to a court ruling, information about bitcoin was considered prohibited, as it contradicted federal laws of the Russian Federation,” the publication noted.
The third time started when the Kotlas city court ordered the blocking of seven cryptocurrency websites in January. Roskomnadzor reportedly received the court decision on June 23 and immediately sent out notices about the blocking.
The publication reported on June 24 that the owners of the sites bitok.shop, lavka-flowers.ru, cryptorussia.ru, prostocoin.com, cryptowikipedia.ru, bestchange.ru and coinpost.ru received notifications that they “distribute information prohibited in the Russian Federation” and will be included in Roskomnadzor’s registry of blocked websites. In addition, news.Bitcoin.com previously reported that six crypto websites and two news sites were blocked by the Russian media watchdog.
Bestchange.ru did not shut down, however, as the management decided to appeal the court decision. The court is expected to pass the case to a higher court on Aug. 27. Nonetheless, Roskomnadzor sent out another notice on Aug. 26 about the blocking of the site.
According to the news outlet, Roskomnadzor’s action is not related to the crypto regulation recently signed into law by President Vladimir Putin, which will enter into force on Jan. 1 next year. The new law gives legal status to cryptocurrency but prohibits its use for payments of goods and services.
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