• Websites that explain how to trade bitcoin in Russia have been banned by a Russian court

  • A court in Russia’s Perm district has ordered the blocking of many websites that explain how to trade Bitcoin for fiat money. According to local prosecutors, disseminating this type of information is illegal in Russia since it could aid in the laundering of illicit funds.

    The Kungur City Court has ordered that all crypto-related websites be blocked. The Beryozovsky District Prosecutor’s Office has requested that multiple websites outlining various methods of cashing out bitcoin be taken down by the Kungur City Court in the Russian Perm Krai region. The prosecutors who uncovered the crypto sites claim that releasing such materials is a violation of Russian anti-legalization legislation.

    According to a press statement, “it was found that information on methods of cashing out the Bitcoin cryptocurrency was readily available for viewing and using on specific Internet resources,” adding:

    Because the law deems the exchange of virtual currency to be a potential engagement in illegal transactions, the prosecutor filed an administrative statement of claim with the court, requesting that access to this information be restricted.

    The number of impacted websites and their domain names were not revealed, but the prosecutor’s office told Forklog that five such petitions had been filed since the start of the year. According to the paper, one of the accusations involves a Youtube video demonstrating how to exchange bitcoin for Russian rubles.

    Russia’s anti-Bitcoin website crackdown continues.

    The Perm Prosecutor’s Office said that once the order takes effect, access to the websites that are subject to the Kungur City Court’s newest judgement will be prohibited. The sites will be added to a growing list of crypto-related websites that have been shut down by Russian authorities in recent years.

    The Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor blocked a cryptocurrency exchange monitoring website, Bestchange.ru, for the third time in August. The well-known website assists Russian-speaking customers in locating the finest crypto-fiat exchange rates. The aggregator has been on Roskomnadzor’s blacklist since 2017.

    The FTC added five crypto websites to its list of restricted internet sources in March 2020. The platforms provided a variety of services, including crypto trading and bitcoin mobile top-ups, as well as an information hub. The bitcoin news source Bits.media’s forum area was also targeted.

    Some of these censoring methods have already been successfully challenged in Russian courts by crypto website operators. The Saint Petersburg City Court overturned a prohibition on 40 websites that disseminate information and provide services linked to cryptocurrencies in March 2018. The Russian Federation’s Supreme Court rejected an order to prohibit the Bitcoininfo.ru portal in April of that year. After prosecutors abandoned efforts to restrict Bestchange.ru, Roskomnadzor was compelled to remove the website from its blacklist in May 2019.

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