BestChange.ru, an aggregator of over-the-counter (OTC) cryptocurrency suppliers in Russia, is being blocked by the country’s internet censorship agency, Roskomnadzor.
Website block announcement is made on local social media VK.com, stating that BestChange.ru website was blocked alongside a bunch of other industry sites. As per the public court records, Roskomnadzor blocked BestChange.ru alongside websites like cryptowikipedia.ru and coinpost.ru.
As per the SimilarWeb data, BestChange saw almost 3.3 million traffic in July, with most of them coming from Russia, Ukraine, and Turkmenistan.
Although the court-approved BestChange website blocking on Jan. 22, the company only notified on July 23.
BestChange Head of Public Relations Nikita Zuborev said,
“We always hear about the lawsuits accidentally, we never get a subpoena [in time] and our lawyers always have to request a time extension to appeal first and then get to the lawsuit itself.”
The lawsuit also targeted cryptocurrency news websites and even an online shop was offering bitcoin for sale or goods in exchange for bitcoin.
The website was first blocked in 2017, but the website remains available through a VPN. Again the website was blocked in 2019.
Bitcoin is not illegal in Russia, but it may not be used as a means of payment. On July 31, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin signed that starting from January 2021 payments in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are going to become illegal.