Russia still seems to be fighting the cryptocurrency ecosystem. This time, it blocked access to the popular P2P exchange – LocalBitcoins, for the second time in four years. The move comes three months after the Russian Federal Service for Supervision of Information Technology and Mass Communications, known as Roskomnadzor, threatened to block access to the website on suspicion of disseminating prohibited information.
Roskomnadzor is still anti-crypto
In recent months, Russia appears to be negative about the cryptocurrency industry. In March, it deemed Bitcoin an “unjustified risk.” Since then, regulators have been working hard to shut down BTC platforms for citizens. In August, they banned making anonymous deposits into cryptocurrency wallets.
Roskomnadzor used its powers to block the well-known peer-to-peer exchange LocalBitcoins. Visitors can only see a blank screen when they try to access the page. Access is still possible using a VPN. This is not a surprise for exchange users. Three months ago, Roskomnadzor issued a warning, accusing LocalBitcoins of spreading illegal information on BTC.
This ban is not the first time Russia has directed its actions against LocalBitcoins. In September 2016, she did exactly the same. LocalBitcoins was then forced to publish a blog post explaining how to access the site via TOR or VPN.
LocalBitcoins is not the only site that has been blocked this year. Binance was also fined for disseminating prohibited information this year.
Cryptocurrencies in Russia
The Russian financial authorities have confirmed the government’s plans to issue a digital currency of the central bank, i.e. the CBDC. On October 13, the Bank of Russia published a consultation paper on the digital development of the ruble.
At the end of September, we learned that the Russian Ministry of Finance is still pushing through regulations for the cryptocurrency industry by proposing new tax requirements. This time the ministry wants to introduce criminal liability for failure to declare cryptocurrency transactions. People who do not report cryptocurrency transactions worth more than 1 million Russian rubles ($ 13,000) per year will be able to go behind bars for up to 3 years.