Russian blocked cryptocurrency exchange OKX, which ranks as the third largest.
The Prosecutor General’s Office earlier this week said that access to the exchange will be cut under article 15.3 of Russia’s law on Information, Information Technologies, and Information Protection.
This article in particular focuses on the spread of what it describes as fake information and threats to financial organizations, extremist activity, and other activities that can be interpreted as a threat to national security.
OKX has not commented on the suspension, but it is now placed on a block list maintained by NGO Roskomsvoboda.
OKX is hardly the first company to have suffered a similar fate in Russia. Binance was previously targeted by Russia in June 2020.
At the time, Binance said that it had not received any complaints from the government and that the decision to ban it was unwarranted and unprovoked. It’s not clear if OKX has been in communication with the Russian government either. Russia has been revving up the anti-crypto rhetoric for a long while now.
In July, President Vladimir Putin passed a law which banned cryptocurrencies as a form of payment. But it’s not just local cryptocurrency users have suffered.
Russia introduced strict capital controls on foreign reserves and the ruble, with the country propping it up in the face of stringent Western-led sanctions over the country’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia has tapped into foreign deposits of its own citizens.
Meanwhile, the European Union has been concerned that Russia may use cryptocurrencies (akin to the North Korean region) to supply itself with various goods on the black market that it needs to power its war machine in Ukraine.
Previously, the EU banned Russians from holding accounts on European cryptocurrency exchanges.
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