The website of crypto exchange OKX was blocked in Russia by the state media monitoring service Roskomnadzor on Oct. 4. The agency told the TASS news agency that the website was blocked at “the request of the Prosecutor General’s Office for the dissemination of unreliable socially significant information of a financial nature.”
Roskomnadzor told local news outlet RBC that OKX had “published information related to the activities of financial pyramids, as well as information on the provision of financial services by persons who do not have the right to provide them” under Russian law. Although the website is blocked in Russia, it remains freely accessible through a VPN.
According to another local report, the administration of the OKX Russian-language Discord channel stated, “We do not recommend using a VPN when accessing OKX as this will trigger our risk controls and can lead to a ban of our account.”
OKX, which was founded in China and is currently based in Seychelles, is not observing Western sanctions against Russia. Recently, it reportedly failed to respond to a request by South Korean authorities to freeze accounts attributed to Terraform Labs co-founder Do Kwon, and is otherwise known for its sponsorships of Manchester City soccer and auto racing.
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Similar website blockings have occurred before and have been successfully challenged in Russian courts. Binance was blocked in Russia between September 2020 and January 2021 before a regional court reversed the Roskomnadzor’s decision. Russia blocked six crypto news websites in 2020, but at least one of the sites, Bits.media, was able to have the block lifted a week later by a district court decision, although it remained on the agency’s blacklist.
Roskomnadzor blocked Cointelegraph shortly in 2019 after it had been on the blocked list for two years without effect.