Russia is now one of the world’s most important markets on Bitcoin. However, its government seemed willing to block the blockchain transactions.
Roskomnadzor has blocked access to the LocalBitcoins’ portal in the country, a principal source of the traffic to the peer-to-peer exchange.
When the users have tried to access localbitcoins.net, they find themselves with a blank page after being censored by the regulator. To access the portal, Russian users must first use a VPN to cover their real location.
As far as now, Russian traders look like they have remained quite active on LocalBitcoins, then the customer ads on the site have eventually stopped. This can indicate that the traders were already prepared for this type of censorship.
LocalBitcoins was blocked previously by Roskomnadzor four years ago. Furthermore, the site is currently not included in the government’s blacklist database.
Earlier this summer, Russia has telegraphed its intentions stating the restrictions on access to the LocalBitcoins portal on July 21, 2020, basing on the justification that the site can be disseminating the illegal information to the public.
It has coincided with an overhaul to Russia’s cryptocurrency laws. Although it remains legal to own Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in Russia, they are now illegal to pay.
Notwithstanding the government’s complicated relationship with Bitcoin, Russians like crypto. The country has accounted for almost 20% of the LocalBitcoin’s total operations and ranks regarding cryptocurrency trading in P2P markets.