The recent celebrations marking Russia’s changing stance against Bitcoin seems to be short lived. Roskomnadzor, the Russian media watchdog has allegedly issued a notice to one of the Russian online publication over a bitcoin related article.
The article in question, published over two years ago in one of the Russian technology news site called Zuckerberg Pozvonit has gained the attention of Roskomnadzor recently. The article titled “What is Bitcoin and who needs them (Что такое биткоины и кому они нужны?)” offers nothing more than a brief overview of Bitcoin. According to few sources, the Kremlin based government agency’s notice requires the website to take down the article within 3 days and failure to do so may result in the website being blocked.
According to Vyacheslav Tsyplukin — publisher of Zuckerberg Pozvonit, the first order came in the form of a court decision concluded that the article in question encourages money laundering activities and other tax related crimes. Initially refusing to comply, Roskomnadzor had requested the court for further clarification as it was just an informational article. Upon receiving the court’s clarification which stated that it was a clear decision with no ambiguity, the media watch dog has complied with the court’s decision by issuing a notice.
Vyacheslav has defended his publication by posting Zuckerberg Pozvonit’s editorial policy of avoiding publication of political issues on Facebook. Surprised by the court’s decision, he has stated that the post will not be taken down and if Roskomnadzor insists on blocking the website, they can go ahead and close the website and also explain their actions to global bitcoin community and Zuckerburg Pozvoniy’s 1.8 million readers.
The court’s decision seems to go completely against President Vladimir Putin’s views on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency as explained by Putin himself during his visit to a youth summer forum. Putin had acknowledged the growing importance of bitcoin and the technology behind it.