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Russia blocks OKX exchange over allegedly ‘publishing info related to financial pyramids’

Russia has banned the website of OKX, one of the largest digital asset exchanges in the world, accusing it of publishing “unreliable information related to financial pyramids.”

The country’s state media monitoring service, Roskomnadzor, banned the website this month without offering any explanation. However, it later revealed to one agency that the prohibition had come “at the request of the Prosecutor General’s Office for the dissemination of unreliable socially significant information of a financial nature.”

It further claimed that the Prosecutor General’s Office had accused the exchange of publishing 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,” in violation of Article 15.3 of Russia’s federal law on Information, Information Technologies, and Information Protection.

OKX has yet to comment on the ban.

Russia has a long history of imposing bans on digital asset-related websites. Previously, it banned Binance, claiming the exchange’s website contained information prohibited in Russia. This was despite President Vladimir Putin signing into law a bill that made digital assets legal in the country. However, as one expert pointed out at the time, Roskomnadzor only refers to a law that says it’s illegal to “disseminate information…for the dissemination of which provides for criminal or administrative liability.”

Binance later fought back against the ban, and three months after, the Arkhangelsk Regional Court lifted the ban.

Several digital asset news sites have also faced the prohibition, with some winning their court battles and being reinstated.

In light of these regular bans, virtual private network (VPN) usage has become common in Russia. However, a report by local Bitcoin news outlet Forklog revealed that OKX is opposed to VPNs, with the exchange’s Russian-language Discord channel administrator warning, “We do not recommend using a VPN when accessing OKX as this will trigger our risk controls and can lead to a ban of your account.”

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