BestChange.ru, a major cryptocurrency website in Russia, was banned shortly after local lawmakers finally passed cryptocurrency laws.
BestChange.ru, an aggregator of around 400 local cryptocurrency exchanges websites, was banned by Russian telecommunications authority Roskomnadzor on August 26.
According to a pop-up ad on BestChange.ru, the site is still available through VPN services, as well as through mirror sites like BestChange.net.
According to an advertisement on local social media VK.com, BestChange.ru, along with a number of other industry websites, has been banned for “referring to the cryptocurrency”.
According to the public court files cited by BestChange, Roskomnadzor has blocked BestChange.ru along with sites like cryptowikipedia.ru and coinpost.ru. According to the data, the websites “offered to buy Bitcoin and certain products using that currency.” Since cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin cannot be used for payment in Russia, the distribution of information about these services through websites is illegal, according to court records.
BestChange.ru is clearly one of the largest crypto sites in Russia. According to data from the website analytics tool LikeWeb, BestChange has grown steadily this year, reaching 3.3 million users in July 2020. The website offers a list of crypto exchange services as well as verifications and ratings for each platform.
BestChange.ru has already been blocked several times. As reported by the Russian news agency RBC, the website was blocked for the first time in 2017. The website remained accessible through the use of services such as a VPN, the report said. According to reports, Roskomnadzor banned BestChange.ru again in 2019, arguing that the dissemination of information about Bitcoin “is against federal law and is prohibited on the territory of Russia”.
The news comes soon after Russia finally passed its first laws regarding the digital currency industry. Since President Vladimir Putin signed the law on July 31, payments in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin will become illegal on Russian territory from January 2021.