The story of LocalBitcoins getting blacklisted by all Russian ISPs has created a rather strange ecosystem. Although it is very easy to bypass this blockade through a VPN or Tor, the LocalBitcoins team is actively working on new solutions as well. By using the .net domain name, it is equally possible for Russian Bitcoiners to access the platform.
Proactivity Against The Artificial Ban
Russia is a very strange country when it comes to Bitcoin. That is not entirely surprising these days, as cryptocurrency has been a topic of substantial debate for quite some time now. Flip-flopping between banning and embracing Bitcoin every other month is not helping matters much by any means.
When the local media watchdog decided to enforce a site-wide ban on the LocalBitcoins platform a few weeks ago, things took a turn for the worse. However, it didn’t take long for the company to address this issue, as they have been proactively helping Russian cryptocurrency enthusiasts ever since.
After posting instructions on how to use a VPN or the tor connection to bypass this blockade, it became apparent the weekly trading volume was not affected in a significant way. But the company is not resting on its laurels, as they have registered a new domain to let Russian users access the site again.
Despite what government officials or financial experts may want to believe, there is no way to actively restrict Internet usage. Unlike other tools, the Internet routes around artificial blockades. The Great Firewall of China is quite impressive, but it doesn’t take all that much to circumvent it as well.
All Bitcoin companies should be proactive when it comes to providing clear instructions to all users. It will probably not be the last time a government or iISP decides to restrict access to a specific platform. Given Bitcoin’s nature and appeal, more sites may be targeted in the coming years. Guiding users to solutions ahead of these potential issues is the way to go.
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