Russia's Supreme Court Orders Review of Crypto Website Ban
The Supreme Court of Russia has directed a court in the city of St. Petersburg to consider an appeal against a blocked cryptocurrency information website.
According to Russian legal information site RAPSI, the Vyborgsky District Court of St. Petersburg blocked Bitcoininfo.ru in 2016, claiming that cryptocurrencies are "a means of virtual payment and accumulation," and therefore, the provision of related information is illegal because it undermines the country's sole legal currency - the ruble.
The court did not invite the defendants to the initial trial, and they were unaware of the court's decision to block the site until access was cut off, Russian crypto publication Anycoin said. The original appeal period closed by that point.
Bitcoininfo reportedly attempted to appeal the ruling despite missing the window, but the court declined to review it. Anycoin reported last month that the Supreme Court would review the case after subsequent reviews, which it has now passed onto the St. Petersburg City Court as of Friday.
According to RIA Novosti, the same St. Petersburg court reviewed a similar appeal in February and overturned a decision to block 40 bitcoin-related sites.
The Russian government has largely expressed opposition to informational sites about cryptocurrencies. Last year its central bank said it would back efforts to block access to external websites selling cryptocurrencies in the country, citing risks to investors as its justification, as previously reported.
Statue of Themis at the Supreme Court of Russia image via Shutterstock