Russia Will Block Bitcoin Exchange Websites, Says Central Bank Official

October 10, 2017 6:57 pm Published by

Russia will block access to websites belonging to exchanges and trading platforms offering cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, First Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) Sergei Shvetsov said Tuesday, Reuters reported.

Shvetsov was speaking at a financial markets conference Tuesday when he pointed to the “dubious” nature of bitcoin – as an investment instrument for retail investors, Cryptocoinsnews .com reported.

“We cannot stand apart. We cannot give direct and easy access to such dubious instruments for retail (investors).” – First Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) Sergei Shvetsov

Shvetsov’s comments contrast Russian finance minister Anton Siluanov’s remarks last month at a financial forum in Moscow, where he called for the Russian government to accept the reality cryptocurrencies permeating into society, the report said. 

“There is no sense in banning them, there is a need to regulate them,” he said.

However, according to the central banker, the blockade is to protect retail everyday investors from bitcoin’s volatility.

Shvetsov said: “We think that for our citizens, for businesses the usage of such cryptocurrencies as an investment object carries unreasonably high risks.”

In early 2016, European bitcoin exchanges Bitstamp and BTC-e were blocked temporarily by Roskomnadzor,  Russia’s telecom regulator, effectively putting the domains in a blacklist shared by all Russian ISPs, the report said.

The telecom regulator has also blocked access to multiple bitcoin-related websites in 2015 in anticipation of a legislative ban on bitcoin that never came to pass, Cryptocoinsnews .com reported. 

The blockade was soon overturned in a Russian court. In September 2016, the regulator blocked access to popular peer-to-peer bitcoin trading platform LocalBitcoins, the report said., Jack Durschlag

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