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Bitcoin Exchange Bitstamp Temporarily Blocks Access From Russian IPs

Bitstamp, a European Union-based bitcoin marketplace, announced that it has decided to temporarily block access to its website from Russian IP addresses.

The move comes after the recent reports that said Russian lawmakers submitted a new draft bill to the country’s legislative assembly Duma in December that aims to ban digital currencies such as bitcoin.

In an email to its customers, the company said that it came to know that the Russian government is prohibiting access to its website for all of its Russian customers.

“We have not been officially notified of the reason for this action, which we view as unjustified. We are not aware of any misuse of our services involving any Russian customer. Bitstamp poses no threat to the security of Russia or its economy”, the email read. “Bitstamp is a recognized leader in operating a safe, fully compliant exchange. We are attempting to contact officials in Russia to determine why they have taken this unfortunate action.”

Bitstamp further said that it suspects that the ban is related to legislation pending in the Duma that seeks to broadly ban the domestic use of BTC, and “appears to criminalize use of an international exchange such as Bitstamp.”

NewsBTC reported that websites and web-based platforms banned by the Russian court can be tracked on the official site of Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (FSSCIM).

“According to the database of FSSCIM, as of January 18, 2016, Bitstamp is granted full access and there are no pending attempts to restrict access to the site”, NewsBTC noted.

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