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Verdict Of Russian Supreme Court May Affect Crypto Websites


The decision of the Supreme Court of Russia on an appeal against blocking of a popular crypto-website, may impact the whole crypto segment in Russia.

The Supreme Court of Russia has accepted the appeal in mid-February on the case of blocking the analytical and news site bitcoininfo.ru, owned by Russian bitcoin enthusiasts, which published news about bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

The Vyborgsky District Court in St. Petersburg had delivered a verdict to in July 2016 to block Bitcoininfo.ru. The ruling said the official currency in Russia is the ruble and the introduction of other currencies and the issuance of monetary surrogates is illegal.

It also said cryptocurrencies, including bitcoins, are money surrogates and promote the growth of the shadow economy and cannot be used by citizens and legal entities on the territory of Russia.

The court also noted that free distribution of information on e-currency causes the active use of the crypto currency in the trade of drugs, weapons, counterfeit documents and other criminal activities.

Russian regulatory agency Roskomnadzor has been subpoenaed by the Supreme Court as a third party in the case. Roskomnadzor is a Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media and is the final authority for blocking of websites in Russia.

The adoption of this complaint by the Supreme Court is important not only in the context of controversial blockages of information resources about crypto-currencies, but also for the Internet industry in general.

This is also the first complaint about the legitimacy of blocking the resource about bitcoin, which will be considered by the Supreme Court. The verdict on the case can really become a precedent and put an end to the debate as to whether the crypto currency is a prohibited money substitute.

St. Petersburg courts had also blocked the popular platform for the online exchange of bitcoins for fiat money, localbitcoins.com, which is the property of the Finnish company LocalBitcoins OY. In May 2017, the Oktyabrsky District Court of St. Petersburg had ruled to restrict access to 40 similar crypto sites.

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