Bitcoin sites blockage: crowdfunding camaign announced

Special Read in Russian

Bits.media provided more information on the site’s blockage by Roskomnadzor back in January. In particular, relevant documents are displayed, and a donation campaign is announced to collect money for lawyers.

Currently, bits.media receives legal advice from company Tolkachev & Partners under a relevant agreement. The case gets worse as the trial takes place in Sverdlovsk oblast instead of Moscow or Saint Petersburg, which involves additional expenses.

Earlier several Bitcoin-related sites were blocked under a court holding quoting clause 27 of Federal law on the Central Bank of the Russian Federation. The court noted that Bitcoin is a money surrogate prohibited for distribution and issuing within Russia. The defense points out that the concept of money surrogates is not defined in Russian laws, and there is no punishment provided for their distribution and issuing. Moreover, none of the blocked sites’ owners was notified of the court session where the decision had been made which is a direct violation of Russian laws in force and allowed the sites’ owners to file an appeal.

Apparently, Roskomnadzor’s officials chose Nevyansk court for a reason, as it was a trouble for the sites’ representatives to get there. There is a probability that the court had sent the request for summons but Russian post failed as usual. Anyway, it’s not likely that we’ll find out what really happened.

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Knowing peculiarities of Russian court system, the process may take a long time, so one should not expect a soon adjustment of the site owners’ claims.

ForkLog hereby asks the community to support the crowdfunding campaign to pay for the lawyers’ services. You may do it by sending your bitcoins at the address as follows: 18Hg1P84u2C3DJHVPcY3LhuXLqrdZTCCzS (also stated in the original message at bits.media).

Support the crowdfunding campaign 18Hg1P84u2C3DJHVPcY3LhuXLqrdZTCCzS

Can the suit be won, and why litigating?

As for this moment, the blocked sites have a pretty fat chance of winning the suit sooner or later. Moreover, enforcement practice of Russia knows quite a few instances when blocked sites’ owners finally managed to cancel a court holding. Statistics for such cases in Russia can be found at a website of public association Roskomsvoboda (Russian Committee for Freedom).

By winning the suit the Bitcoin community would set a precedent and contribute in struggle with internet censorship and turn Russian authorities’ attention to Bitcoin once again. With the upcoming cryptocurrency ban in Russia, it’s quite important to persuade Russian authorities to mitigate their views on Bitcoin.