Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Russian Authorities Restricts Crypto Sites From Operating As They Work On Releasing Crypto Regulations

Babatunde Modupe
I am a freelance writer, Poet, blogger and cryptoenthusiast that is totally interested in blockchain technology and sharing it's Information with others.

Russian authorities clamp down on crypto websites in the country ahead of its plan to implement crypto regulations. These sites are often blocked by the government with little or no information about why such act was carried out according to a Russian anti-censorship advocate.

Restricting Crypto Platforms

The stance of the Russian government on the crypto industry is still unknown, even as the country plans to implement crypto regulations soon, as ordered by President Vladimir Putin. Websites related to cryptocurrency in the country still get clampdown on without proper notification to the owners.

Artem Kozlyk, Head of RoskomFreedom juridical anti-censorship organization, noted that “Workers of the local Prosecutor’s Office need to fill the statistical reporting about how they successfully fight with restricted materials. Local courts sometimes receive papers based on this, and the court automatically blocks the site without sending a hearings invitation to the owner. Then, all those decisions appear in Roskomnadzor, usually after the period of appeal ending.”

One of the websites that fell victim of the recent closure in the country is CryptoRussia. CryptoRussia had earlier been removed from the government’s blacklist after the owner was compensated by the Russian government with 150 thousand Rubles as ordered by a court. This was because the website was shut down without any reason nor notice in 2016. The decision to shut down the website again highlights the inconsistency in the stance of Russia on the crypto space.

Apart from CryptoRubble, three other cryptocurrency exchange platforms and a crypto rating site were reported suspended as well. The three exchanges are anonymous exchanges that were banned because they permit crypto trading without performing KYC.

The shutdown of the crypto review site, Bestchange.ru seems unjustifiable. The platform is a review site for crypto exchanges. It helps Russians find crypto exchanges with positive user reviews and also long term record of legitimacy. The Russian government could work with BestChange and related services to protect its citizens against fraud in the crypto space.

The Russian Government’s Position On Cryptocurrency

Even as Russians awaits new regulations guiding the crypto space in the country, the government is still skeptical about the industry. According to the ruling of Kuibyshev, a local Omsk court on July 24th, 2018, it stated that Bitcoin and sites related to cryptocurrencies are suspects because the digital currency is a “monetary surrogate which helps the growth of shadow economy, and cannot be used by citizens and companies on the territory of Russia.”

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