Russia’s central bank is planning to ban access to Bitcoin exchange websites, it was announced by Sergei Shvetsov, the first deputy governor at the Russian central bank.

This announcement had a severe effect on the Bitcoin price that was rallying towards $5,000. In a flash crash, Bitcoin’s value dropped by $600 before rebounding somewhat.

Dubious instrument

Shvetsov said in his speech at a conference in Moscow that:

"We can not stand apart. We can not give direct and easy access to such dubious instruments for retail (investors)," Shetsov said.

“We think that for our citizens, for businesses, the usage of such cryptocurrencies as an investment object carries unreasonably high risks.”

He went on to indicate that Russia would block access to websites of exchanges that offer Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Flash crash

This news had an adverse effect on the market as Bitcoin dropped by over $600 to a low of $4,200 at roughly 9:00 a.m. London time, the same time as the announcement from Russia's central bank.  

However, it quickly recovered, within moments, getting back to $4,784 by 9:10 a.m. London time.

Following on from China

This news follows on from China’s hard-nosed approach to digital currencies after they first banned ICOs, then went after exchanges.

Russia has said before that it would like to regulate the use of cryptocurrencies by Russian citizens and companies.

This move seems to be in line with the idea of government control over Bitcoin. The blocking of citizens from using Bitcoin exchanges puts all the control over citizens and their digital currencies in the hands of the government.