A number of websites providing options to exchange, cash out, and transfer cryptocurrency using various payment methods may be blocked by Russia’s telecom regulator, Roskomnadzor if their operators don’t delete the illegal web pages. The threat for the online crypto platforms stems from a court ruling recognizing their content as prohibited.
In early September, the Kushnarenkovsky District Court in Bashkortostan, a republic of the Russian Federation, confirmed that the information they are disseminating is banned under current law, Forklog reported. The register of banned Russian websites, maintained by the non-government organization Roskomsvoboda, lists 17 sites affected by the decision.
In its ruling, the regional court notes that in all these cases the platforms have allowed free access without requiring registration. “Any user can get acquainted with the content and copy the materials in electronic form. There are no restrictions on their transfer, copying and distribution,” the district court emphasized.
According to Digital Rights Center, a law firm hired by the operators of six of the crypto exchanges, the owners of the websites had not been summoned by the court at all. Sarkis Darbinyan, the managing partner at the company, explained that apparently the sites had been identified on the Bestchange.ru crypto exchange aggregator.
In the past few years, websites featuring content related to bitcoin and crypto services have often been targeted with restrictive measures in Russia. Roskomnadzor blocked Bestchange.ru more than once but access to the popular site has been eventually restored. In March 2020, the agency added six crypto sites to its register of banned internet sources and in June this year, a court in the Perm region announced its decision to block several crypto trading websites.
Lawyers at Digital Rights Center are now preparing official complaints with the intention to seek the full cancellation of the court decision. “Apparently, prosecutors do not want to accept the reality that the law on digital assets has already been adopted and the legislator did not follow the path of a complete ban on cryptocurrency, but only limited the possibilities of its use and civil law turnover,” Darbinyan concluded.