Russia blocks access to nearly half a dozen Bitcoin-related websites over "shadow economy" fearsBy Shawn Knight
Russian's telecommunications regulatory agency has blocked accessed to nearly half a dozen Bitcoin-related websites under the guise that it contributes to the growth of the shadow economy.
As GigaOm points out, the offending sites include Bitcoin.org, a community resource run by the Bitcoin Foundation, community wiki Bitcoin.it, security site BTCsec.com, the Indacoin exchange that's incorporated in London and Russian community site Coinspot.ru.
Interestingly enough, the decision to close down access to the sites came last September via court order but for whatever reason, regulators only just now got around to enforcing it.
Coinspot responded to the matter in a blog post, claiming that nobody ever contacted them regarding the court order and they didn't know that the issuing court had anything to do with cryptocurrency and the Internet in general.
Cryptocurrency has been a hot topic in Russia for quite some time. Last February, authorities said it was illegal to use such currency as a money substitute over fear that it could be used by terrorists and money-launderers.
Deputy finance minister Aleksey Moiseev said in September that an outright ban could be in order come 2015. The draft bill to ban Bitcoins, however, was recently sent back to the Ministry of Economic Development for revisions.
Bitcoin supporters in the region are being urged to ban together and fight against such restrictions.