Russian authorities have blocked BestChange.ru, a major cryptocurrency exchange aggregator in the country, shortly after lawmaker passed crypto legislation banning cryptocurrency transactions.
The aggregator reportedly includes 400 local cryptocurrency websites and included information on exchange rates between different cryptoassets. It was blocked by Russian telecom regulator Roskomnadzor for “mentions of Bitcoin cryptocurrency,” an announcement on Russian social media giant VK details.
BestChange is notably still accessible through mirror websites that simply change the domain extension, or to those who use VPN services to hide their locations. Court records cited by BestChange show the telecoms regulator blocked other cryptocurrency-focused websites in the country.
These websites were reportedly “offering to buy electronic currency Bitcoin and certain products using this currency.” BestChange.ru, it’s worth noting, was one of the largest cryptocurrency-related websites in the country, with SimilarWeb data showing it has over 3.3 million visits last month.
CoinTelegraph reports BestChange has been blocked multiple times before. Back in 2017, the year most cryptocurrencies hit their all-time highs and BTC came close to the $20,000 mark, the website was banned but remained available to those using a VPN. Last year, Roskomnadzor blocked it arguing it was distributing information about BTC, which “contradicts Federal laws and is prohibited on the territory of Russia.”
BestChange was blocked little over a month after Russia’s Duma approved the draft legislation “On Digital Assets,” which makes it illegal to use bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for day-to-day transaction. It isn’t, however, an outright ban on cryptoassets, and defined cryptocurrencies as digital assets.
Featured image via Pixabay.