Category Archives: Ban

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Zimbabwe Lifts Crypto Ban after Reserve Bank Misses Court Appearance

The High Court in Harare, Zimbabwe has issued an interim order lifting the nationwide cryptocurrency ban decreed by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on 11 May 2018. Apparently, officials from the Reserve Bank, including Governor John Mangudya, failed to show up at court, resulting in a default judgement against them.

The lawsuit was brought forth against the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe by Golix, a cryptocurrency exchange which is based in Africa and one of three primary cryptocurrency exchanges that operate in Zimbabwe, the other two being Bitfinance and Styx24.

In the lawsuit, Golix argued that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe had no jurisdiction to ban cryptocurrency, since that is equivalent to lawmaking which is a power reserved for parliament. Therefore, by banning cryptocurrency, the Reserve Bank was infringing on the parliament’s power.

The temporary lifting of the ban has brought great relief to Zimbabwean cryptocurrency traders. Golix is hoping to get back to business immediately and is aiming to begin processing trades in their order book which has been on halt due to the ban.

It is unknown whether banks will cooperate with the temporary lifting of the cryptocurrency ban. There was supposed to be a 60-day grace period after the issuance of the decree which occurred on 11 May 2018, but within a week banks were already refusing to facilitate withdraws from Golix. Since the banks didn’t even follow the order of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to give cryptocurrency users 60 days to get their affairs in order, it seems they have some independence regarding the decision to allow cryptocurrency trading through their respective banks, and if they decide not to cooperate Golix won’t be able to function.

While this is a big win for cryptocurrency in Zimbabwe, it is only a temporary order and there will have to be more court proceedings before a final decision is made. The only thing that is certain is a big legal battle is about to ensue between cryptocurrency and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, and this battle will determine cryptocurrency’s future in the Southeast African nation.


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Telegram CEO Will Use Bitcoin To Frustrate Moscow Ban

Telegram founder Pavlov Durov has refused to comply with a Moscow court which has recently banned the popular cloud-based messaging service.

The ban was passed by the Moscow court in an apparent effort to thwart terrorism, citing the app as playing a role in terrorist activities around the globe.  Security agencies had originally demanded Telegram allow them to access to user information.

Durov informed Telegram users that the reason for the ban was the company’s refusal to provide encryption keys to Russian agencies:

“For the past 24 hours, Telegram has been under a ban by internet providers in Russia… our refusal… was an easy decision. We promised our users 100% privacy and would rather cease to exist than violate this promise.”

Within the last two days, Russia blocked over 15 million IP addresses in attempts to ban Telegram on its territory. Regardless, Telegram remained available for the majority of Russia’s residents #digitalresistance

— Pavel Durov (@durov) April 17, 2018

A day after the ban was put into effect, Durov announced that he would use Bitcoin to fund proxies and VPNs to get around the problem for his customers.

Telegram has been in conflict with Russian regulators for some time regarding the use of the app. Those seeking privacy around the world use the app for its encrypted messaging service offering high levels of privacy. The app is used in many countries in areas of conflict or government oppression as a method of secure and private communication.

In the latest development, Russian state communications regulator Roskomnadzor has blocked IP addresses owned by Google and Amazon, both used by Telegram. Interfax news reports that the Russian regulator has now blocked 18 sub-networks and some 15 to 20 million Google and Amazon IP addresses. Roskomnnadzor is a Russian federal executive body responsible for censorship in media and telecommunications.

As a result, Russian users, as well as being shut out of Telegram, can no longer use other services which route through Google and Amazon servers including the Viber messaging app. Latest reports that Microsoft and Windows updates and online games by Wargaming and Netflix may have been impacted.

Durov appears to be committed to servicing his customers despite all the hurdles thrown his way by Russian government agencies, including making donations of Bitcoin for individuals or companies running proxies and VPN:

“I am happy to donate millions of dollars this year to this cause… I called this Digital Resistance – a decentralized movement standing for digital freedoms and progress globally.”


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