The Supreme Court of Russia has ordered the City Court in St. Petersburg to take up a complaint involving a ban on cryptocurrency-related websites. The decision on Friday directs that court to review an appeal of the 2016 District Court decision that blocked Bitcoininfo.ru, according to a report from The Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI).
The Supreme Court’s order is noteworthy, since it sends the appeal to the same court that reversed a similar decision in late February 2018. In that instance, the St. Petersburg court granted relief to more than three dozen sites that had been previously blocked by court order. In that case, the court had reasoned that:
"Crypto-currencies, including bitcoins, are money surrogates, contribute to the growth of the shadow economy and cannot be used by citizens and legal entities on the territory of the Russian Federation. The free distribution of information on e-currency causes the active use of the crypto currency in the trade in drugs, weapons, counterfeit documents and other criminal activity. "
In Bitcoininfo’s case, the site’s owners were not even present at the trial that resulted in the ban, since the court reportedly declined to notify them. As a result, they only became aware of the ban after it went into effect. By that time, the appeal deadline had passed.