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Another Russian Court Favors Crypto as Website Block Lifted

The St Petersburg City Court in Russia has lifted the block on crypto media website Bitcoininfo.ru, after the District Court shut down its site in July 2016, according to local news outlet TASS.

In 2016, digital currencies hadn’t reached global acceptance, as governments viewed money laundering as a major barrier to any kind of more liberal regulation. The 16 July ruling banning crypto-related information sources was very much reflecting state government thinking at the time.

According to TASS, the new decision was the result of a recent referral by Russia’s Supreme Court following a complaint from Bitcoininfo. The company claimed that the process to appeal the ban was initiated by prosecutors without involving the website’s owners, nor was the site asked to remove any content, previously considered as prohibited for viewing.

The original ban was served on the owners as prosecutors claimed it contained information about cryptocurrencies which were deemed as being “outside of government control”, and according to the District Court at the time, the site didn’t have “specific consumer properties”. The ban was also served as it was claimed that Bitcoininfo was facilitating “growth of the shadow economy”.

This is the second success for crypto-related websites this year after the same St Petersburg court annulled a trial court decision to ban 40 other Bitcoin-related websites, previously accused of spreading information about digital currency that “is not backed by any real asset and does not provide information about its owners”.

The Russian government is reviewing cryptocurrency regulation under the Digital Assets Regulation Bill filed 25 January. The bill defines cryptocurrencies and tokens as digital financial assets. If the bill passes in its current form, it would allow trading on cryptocurrency exchange operators with authorized Know-Your-Customer (KYC) standards. This would also apply to initial coin offerings (ICOs) established in Russia.

 

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