Russia Government Officials Shuts Crypto Websites Ahead of Regulations

Ritika Sharma
Ritika Kumari Sharma is an Economics Honors graduate from the University of Calcutta. She is completely into finance and believes that cryptocurrencies are the future. She is an enthusiast learner about the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.
  • The government has forcefully shut down a handful of websites that were associated with cryptocurrency.
  • Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) has shut down Bestchange.ru for the third time now.
  • The website monitored the cryptocurrency exchanges in Russia. 

A few days ago, the Russian government passed a law on crypto assets. The law declared that cryptocurrencies would not be recognised as a form of monetary cryptocurrency. Any transactions involved with digital assets will require an exchange of Russian fiat currency first. But even before the regulations were passed, the government has forcefully shut down a handful of websites that were associated with cryptocurrency. In fact, Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) has shut down Bestchange.ru for the third time now. The website monitored the cryptocurrency exchanges in Russia. 

Bestchange.ru Provides Information About Major OTC Brokers 

The website lists current prices and even the supply of all major over-the-counter (OTC) brokers in and around Russia. The free website provides the best rate for cryptos, online offers, and internet banking. However, the website has never been involved in crypto trading. The website through its Facebook page informed the customers that their website domain has been blocked again by the Russian Federation. They added that the Russian authorities are continuing to sue in order to block Best change and other websites that mention the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. Bestchange.ru has explained that they have been trying to unblock their domain for a long time now but this may take longer than expected. 

Use of BTC for Services Violates its Law Says the Court Order

This time the lawsuit was filed by Roskomnadzor. The previous lawsuits were successfully overturned by Bestchange.ru says their head of public relations, Nikita Zuborev. The first time was back in 2017 which subsequently got cancelled in 2018. The second time was in 2019 when Kuibyshevsky District Court of Omsk filed a lawsuit to block them. The lawsuit did not only target Bestchange but a couple of other news websites and even an online floral shop which apparently were offering services in exchange of bitcoin. The court order read that the usage of BTC is decentralised which means it cannot be regulated by the State. Hence, it violates the Russian laws.

Bestchange.ru Plans to Appeal the Authorities

However, the website has not shut down yet. They have been planning to appeal the authority and have advised all the users to install a proxy in order to overcome the block. OTC is the most popular for people of Russia to participate in crypto trading. Last month the website got a total of 3.3 million views from Russia, Ukraine and Turkmenistan.

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