As Russia’s Bitcoin Sites Fight to Lift Ban, Founder Expresses Cautious Optimism

A court in Ekaterinburg, Russia has set a hearing for May 15 regarding the Russia’s crypto community representatives’ complaint against the government’s ban of Bitcoin-related websites.

The founder of, Ivan Tikhonov, believes that the court hearings have so far been positive for the banned websites despite the ban not being lifted as of yet.

The court has rejected the prosecutor office’s demands to stop the appeal. Now, the representatives of the websites will have a chance to present their case during the first hearing on May 15. Cointelegraph asked Tikhonov about the chances of lifting the ban and the general outlook for cryptocurrency in Russia.

Ivan Tikhonov

Cointelegraph: How did the court change its view on the matter? Are you happy with the recent hearings? What are your chances of winning?

Ivan Tikhonov: I believe we have a good chance of victory. Their decision is clearly not backed by any law and we presented evidence of this in our appeal petition. We are happy with how the hearings have been going since our request to restore the timeframe was approved and the prosecutor’s demand to stop our appeal was rejected. Of course, it would have been great to win on April 24. Hopefully, we’ll be able to reach a verdict in no more than 1-2 hearings.

“[I]f this law passes, the goals, which served as the basis for drafting this legislation, will not be met.”

Cointelegraph: Russias Ministry of Finance (MinFin) and the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade (MEDT) have different views on cryptocurrency. How significant is this and is there a chance well see a more sensible approach?

IT: Essentially, the bill is being actively pushed by MinFin, while the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade are not defenders of cryptocurrency. They are simply taking a more balanced approach. As I see it, they gave their first negative reaction to the draft not in the defense of cryptocurrency, but because the bill is horrible. Even small businesses will suffer from this law, as they would have to close down their loyalty systems. When it was decided that the loyalty systems were not going to be affected, MEDT gave the green light and the bill moved forward.

Meanwhile, not all of the problems associated with the draft were resolved. It clearly has vague definitions, which can be widely implemented. It also does not explain how the mechanisms for searching and classifying various entities as ‘money surrogates’ work and the final report also gives incorrect information on