Calm Down Internet, BTC-e is Not About to Be Shutdown

February 3, 2014 21:20 UTC
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Update: BTC-e has increased fees on withdrawals to fiat.

Update #2: Looks like we were right for the wrong reasons. The original source for the story is reporting that their website was hacked.

A report out of Russia has some of the Bitcoin community worried because it mentions BTC-e and how it could be facilitating money laundering for terrorists. Let’s get right to the facts:

  • The report is talking about blocking the BTC-e website in Russia. The website would be blocked under a new Russian law that allows the government to block certain websites associated with terrorism or extremism without a court order.
  • The accusations are coming from one local legislator in one Russian city. The complaint needs to reach the Prosecutor General’s Office before any action can take place.
  • BTC-e is located in Bulgaria, which means this is more about blocking a Bitcoin website in Russia than actually investigating BTC-e.

There are Still Problems for Bitcoin in Russia

While there are easy ways to get around a nationwide ban of BTC-e in Russia, the reality is that the regulatory picture around Bitcoin is still not very clear in this country. A country that is willing to ban websites without a review from any court is definitely the kind of country that would also try to ban Bitcoin. The Russian government recently sent out a warning about how businesses and the Russian people should try to avoid Bitcoin because of the risks involved with the digital currency. It may only be a matter of time before Russian regulators stop making recommendations and start shutting down Bitcoin businesses.

Banning Bitcoin Won’t Work

As I’ve written in the past, the reality is that a ban on Bitcoin will be about as useful as banning the BTC-e website. The Russian people will simply use Tor and VPNs to get around the strict regulations placed on the Internet or Bitcoin. The fight against Bitcoin is a battle that cannot be won by any government, but that definitely won’t stop them from trying.

Note: Thanks to eliotcougar from our chatroom for helping out with some info for this story.

Last modified: February 4, 2014 12:16 UTC


Kyle is a freelance Bitcoin writer and the Marketing Director for Bitcloud. His work has been featured on Business Insider, VICE Motherboard, Let's Talk Bitcoin, and RT's Keiser Report . You can follow him on Twitter (@kyletorpey) or send him an email.