Since Russia’s recent announcement of the legitimisation of cryptocurrency and subsequently that they would be incorporating blockchain into official systems, the country has been on an upward trajectory, increasingly becoming welcoming to digital assets. Now, Cointelegraph reported that a Russian censor has blacklisted Binance, the world’s largest and most prominent cryptocurrency exchange platform.
Russia’s telecom regulator Roskomnadzor has added Binance to their list of prohibited websites. Although blacklisted, Russians are still able to access the site through additional equipment like VPNs.
Coindesk reported that the regulator has apparently blacklisted the company. This is because Binance releases information on how to buy and sell Bitcoin, which the country prohibits.
Even though the government officially legitimised cryptocurrency and included it as a taxable property, Russia’s Ministry of Finance has pushed for digital assets and associated paraphernalia to be heavily scrutinised and regulated by official, centralised authorities.
Bitcoin’s decentralised and unregulated nature is contrary to Russian law and thus prohibited according to a judicial decision. This is reportedly behind the censor’s decision to blacklist Binance.
Finance Magnates further reported that the aforementioned telecom regulator has targeted cryptocurrency-related websites since 2015. Binance apparently received no warnings or caveats from official bodies before the announcement of its blacklisting.
Binance is ready to tackle the censoring of their company by any means necessary. The exchange is now in the process of consulting with lawyers on a way forward. However, there could very well be a legal contestation of its blacklisting and over the role of Bitcoin in Russia.
Cryptocurrency has had a contentious existence in Russia since its inception, and the rules regarding them are very vague. Many hope that the recent legitimisation of digital assets will create a more favourable atmosphere for cryptocurrency. However, many observers fear it may prove to be the opposite, with increased centralisation and regulation of cryptocurrency.