Russian media and communications regulator, Roskomnadzor, has restricted access to the website of a major cryptocurrency exchange, Okx. The trading platform was one of those that did not restrict access for Russians amid sanctions that affected the industry’s business in Russia.
Okx Blacklisted on Request From Russian Prosecutor’s Office for Disseminating Banned Information
Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, also known as Roskomnadzor, has added this week the domain name of crypto exchange Okx to its list of sites containing information, the distribution of which is prohibited in the Russian Federation. The move follows a decision by the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office.
The Seychelles-based company is among the few leading coin trading platforms that did not introduce restrictions for Russian users despite mounting Western sanctions imposed over Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, the Russian business news portal RBC noted in a report.
Russian prosecutors asked the telecom watchdog to prevent access to its website for “dissemination of unreliable socially significant information of financial nature,” Roskomnadzor told RBC Crypto. The agency’s press service further elaborated:
The site published information related to the activities of financial pyramids, as well as information on the provision of financial services by persons who do not have the right to provide them in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation.
Okx, which has a daily trading volume of around $1.5 billion and lists some 350 digital assets, has not commented yet. Russian legal experts noted, however, that in the absence of a comprehensive legal framework, any exchange can be blocked in Russia. According to Daniil Gorkov, a lawyer at the Criminal Defense Firm, this would deal an irreparable blow to the country’s crypto market.
Roskomnadzor has a history of taking down crypto-related websites. In September 2020, the world’s largest crypto trading platform, Binance, was blocked for some time. The popular exchange aggregator Bestchange.ru has been blacklisted on several occasions and crypto news outlets have been targeted, too. In each of these cases, the restrictions were later lifted with prosecutors failing to convince the courts.