The Russian telecoms and mass media regulator, popularly known as Roskomnadzor, banned the peer-to-peer BTC trading platform LocalBitcoins once again. The Russian regulator has a history with LocalBitcoins, having first restricted access to the P2P platform four years ago. Earlier this year in July, the regulator once again indicated that it intended to block access to the site, claiming that LocalBitcoins could be spreading illegal information to the public. The ban will only add to the confusion in the Russian crypto community.
Regulators claim Localbitcoin spreads illegal information to the public.
Cryptocurrencies in Russia are not illegal, and citizens are allowed to buy and sell them at will. However, paying with digital currencies is outlawed as they are not recognized as legal tender. However, in an era where VPNs have become quite common, the ban on Localbitcoins may not be as effective as the regulator would want. For Russian citizens, VPNs are especially critical given the constant restrictions imposed by the regulator. The popular encrypted messaging giant Telegram also suffered from the ban by the government for the same reasons. LocalBitcoins users in the country are already turning to VPNs to mask their location.
Russians traded $585 million worth of crypto on LocalBitcoins in one week.
Russia is one of the world’s largest players in the peer-to-peer digital currency market. As per Coin Dance data, Russians traded $585 million worth of digital currencies on LocalBitcoins alone in the week ending October 10. As such, the ban by the Russian regulator could have far-reaching effects across the world. The Russian regulator also blacklisted Binance recently, claiming that the crypto exchange contained information on its website that has been prohibited from distribution in the country.