St. Petersburg Court Overturns Previous Decision to Block Bitcoin-Related Site

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The City Court of St. Petersburg, Russia has overturned the District Court’s previous decision to block crypto media website Bitcoininfo.ru. As reported by TASS Monday, June 4, the decision came about after the court received an order from Russia’s Supreme Court in April to review the case.

“The St. Petersburg City Court overturned the decision of the district court to recognize the information posted on the Bitcoininfo.ru website,” the city court was quoted by the news agency.

The press service of the City Court of St. Petersburg also reported that in July 2016 the St. Petersburg Vyborg District Court banned the website per the application of local prosecutors. The case was considered by the court without the website owners present.

In July 2016, the Vyborg district court of St. Petersburg ruled to block bitcoininfo.ru without allowing the site’s owners go through an initial trial. The basis of the ruling was that cryptocurrencies are “a means of virtual payment and accumulation,” and, thus, providing related information is illegal as it could undermine the country’s fiat currency.

Following the ban, the St. Petersburg City Court also declined the site owners’ appeal to reconsider the case until the Supreme Court overturned the decision.

The website’s owner told the news agency that the St. Petersburg city prosecutor’s statements disclosed that about 100 cryptocurrency media sites had been blocked following the ruling.

Earlier this year the City Court of St. Petersburg annulled a trial court’s previous decision to ban 40 Bitcoin-related websites in the Russian Federation. The ban was initiated because the sites were “spreading information” about digital currency that “is not backed by any real asset and does not provide information about its owners.”

The latest ruling comes as Russia is in the process of drawing up and passing a regulatory framework for the cryptocurrency industry – one expected to be ready by summer of this year, as previously demanded by President Vladimir Putin.

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