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Gregg Popovich doesn’t exactly like Donald Trump, but he ain’t down on all of D.C. … ’cause Pop took the gang to another Washington landmark — the Supreme Court!! Unclear if Pop and co. were there on any official business or just to…
The Supreme Court of Russia has taken upon itself the responsibility to decide a case that may become a precedent for the crypto sector. The highest judicial authority in the country has accepted an appeal against the blocking of a popular Russian analytical portal – Bitcoininfo.ru. Its decision will affect dozens of crypto websites with restricted access, including foreign platforms like Localbitcoins.com.
Setting a Precedent
Lawyers from the Roskomsvoboda project and the Center for Digital Rights law firm have appealed the blocking of Bitcoininfo.ru, issued by a local court in Saint Petersburg in 2016. They are also fighting restrictions imposed on access to the popular Finland-based peer-to-peer exchange platform Localbitcoins.com. Experts say the decision of the highest judicial authority is likely to become a precedent for the whole crypto sector in Russia.
This is the first cassation appeal against the blocking of bitcoin-related source to be reviewed by the Supreme Court, Sarkis Darbinyan, leading lawyer of “Roskomsvoboda” told RBC. It was filed on February 16 and the court will meet to look into the case on March 21, 2018. The decision to restrict access to Bitcoininfo.ru was taken by the Vyborgsky District Court in Russia’s Northern Capital.
Another local court, in Oktyabrsky District, banned more than 40 websites offering information about cryptocurrencies and exchange services in Russia. Its decision was recently struck down by the City Court of Saint Petersburg. The measure was requested by the Prosecutor’s Office and effectively restricted access to the internet platforms. The judges had stated that the spreading of information about bitcoin and the use of cryptocurrencies was illegal in the Russian Federation.
The Supreme Court in Moscow has subpoenaed Russia’s regulatory agency Roskomnadzor as a third party in the case. The Federal service is responsible for the supervision of communications, information technology, and mass media. It also has the final say when it comes to blacklisting websites in the country.
The Vyborgsky District Court decided to block Bitcoininfo.ru in June 2016. The publication of information about the “electronic currency” bitcoin, “a virtual means of payment and accumulation”, violates the provisions of the law “On the Central Bank of the Russian Federation”, the court’s decision read. Furthermore, that information “undermines the constitutional order and authority” in Russia and “the foundations of the material welfare of citizens”. According to the judges, the website had been violating the rights and legitimate interests of persons who had access to illegal information, and therefore was subject to restriction.
The decision states that the Russian ruble is the official currency in the country and that issuing other currencies and surrogates is illegal. The Bitcoininfo.ru case was initiated by the local district prosecutor. The website administrators found out about it post factum, after their platform had been blocked. Their lawyers now insist that there is no legal ground in the current Russian legislation to ban the spreading of cryptocurrency-related information. They also point out that Bitcoininfo.ru was not offering transaction services to its readers.
Over a Quarter of a Million Websites Blocked in 5 Years
The Center for Digital Rights lawyers say the review of the case in the Supreme Court is important not only for crypto-related sites, but also for the whole internet-based industry in Russia. They have filed at least 20 appeals in the last few years, but this is the first one the highest judicial authority has decided to look into. If it strikes down the ban on Bitcoininfo.ru, it will set a precedent for many similar cases and put an end to the debate about the legality of cryptocurrencies.
The exact number of banned Russian crypto websites is unknown. According to Roskomsvoboda, access to several dozen domains containing the word “bitcoin” has been restricted by court decisions or by the Federal Tax Service. Last summer the regulatory agency Roskomnadzor announced it had blocked about 257,000 internet platforms in a period of five years.
Do you think the Supreme Court of Russia is going to rule in favor of restoring access to bitcoin-related websites? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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The debate about how to deal with guns in our country rages on in the wake of the shooting deaths of 14 students and three adults at a Florida high school Feb. 14.
The Supreme Court of Israel issued a temporary injunction order on Monday forbidding Bank Leumi from sweepingly halting the account activity of the Bits of Gold bitcoin exchange. This is seen as a major victory in the Israeli cryptocurrency industry that will set a precedent for other bitcoin businesses struggling to get banking services.
Bits of Gold vs. Leumi
Since its inception in 2014, Bits of Gold has, which is licensed as a currency changer business, always held an account with Bank Leumi – one of the top two biggest banks in the country. In 2015, the bank decided to close its account despite the company’s meticulous conduct – only because the company deals in bitcoin, and then Bits of Gold decided to apply to the court for permission to continue using the account.
For several years Bits of Gold worked with an injunction that allowed it to act until a final verdict. A few months ago, the District Court authorized the bank not to allow Bits of Gold to trade in bitcoin, even though it praised its activities.
The company appealed this decision to the Israeli Supreme Court, which immediately issued a temporary injunction, and on Monday passed a temporary order according to which the company can trade digital coins in its account until a ruling is issued on the entire appeal.
The Supreme Court wrote: “It appears that the damages that the bank might incur are mere speculations for now. The decision of the bank is based on the assumption that the company’s activity indeed carries risks that arise in violation of the provisions of the law, and therefore the bank is liable to pay a price for the materialization of those risks. However until now, for more than five years in which the account has been operating, these fears have not materialized – as the District Court has determined that the company acted transparently and did not violate any statutory provision.”
Bank Leumi Not Giving In
“This is a precedent-setting decision whose importance can not be overemphasized in relation to the trading of digital currencies,” said lawyer Shaul Zioni of the legal firm who represented the company. “The court says banks actually can not ban the company’s activities sweepingly and that they should manage their risk.”
Yuval Roash, CEO of Bits of Gold said, “The court’s decision enables us to focus on continuing to establish the crypto community in Israel, and we will continue to lead the field in order to give digital coins the place which they deserve in the Israeli economy – as a tremendous growth engine for hi-tech and the financial industry. ”
Bank Leumi responded: “The bank respects the decion of the court. However, as long as the matter is not regulated by orderly regulatory directives, the bank’s exposure to the client’s activity in bitcoin will be valid – and not only towards the regulators in Israel who are obligated to respect the decisions of the Supreme Court, but also towards foreign regulators who do not consider themselves bound by the decisions of Israeli law. Therefore, as long as no binding legal provisions are determined by the regulator and the relevant parties, the bank will continue to manage the case until the temporary injunction is removed. ”
Should banks be allowed to refuse to open accounts for bitcoin companies? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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The Supreme Court heard arguments Monday in one of the biggest cases of the term, one that could prove devastating to public-sector unions. The issue revolves around an employee for the state of Illinois who objects to having $ 45 a month taken out of his paycheck to support the American…
Some good news for “Dreamers,” though it could prove temporary: The Supreme Court has rejected the Trump administration’s highly unusual bid to get the justices to intervene in the controversy over protections for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants. The justices on Monday refused to take up the administration’s appeal…
The case against the South Korean government over cryptocurrency regulations filed with the Constitutional Court has been referred to the Supreme Court. If the court rules that the regulations are unconstitutional, all existing crypto regulations imposed by the government could be nullified.
Case Referred to Supreme Court
The constitutional appeal filed against the South Korean government over cryptocurrency regulations at the end of December has been referred to the country’s Supreme Court by the Constitutional Court.
Lawyer Jeong Hee-chan alleged that “regulating the trade through administrative guidance without any legal grounds is an infringement of property rights,” the Korea Times reported and quoted Jeong’s law office stating:
The government’s regulations are devaluing virtual currencies by making trading very difficult…Thus, this is an infringement on people’s property rights by the government’s unlawful measures.
Jeong clarified, “We agree that regulations are necessary,” adding “but regulations should come after related laws are implemented. The petition is also a request for the government to respect people’s property rights and introduce regulations after reaching a social consensus.”
Is the Real-Name System Unfair?
As part of the regulations for cryptocurrencies, the government has implemented a mandatory real-name system for cryptocurrency exchange accounts. The system went into effect on January 30.
According to the regulators, all existing virtual accounts used by cryptocurrency traders must be converted into real-name ones in order to deposit money for trading. After one week, only 8.21% of all virtual accounts at the country’s top four exchanges have been converted into real-name ones, leaving 1.6 million accounts unconverted.
Furthermore, banks are only converting accounts for Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone, and Korbit, leaving smaller exchanges with no way to use the real-name system. The Economic Review elaborated:
The key issue is the unfairness of the virtual currency real name system…the government should clarify the grounds for enacting the virtual currency real name system in the main judgment. The basic rights of the people in the Constitution can be restricted only by laws set by the National Assembly.
“The government insisted it [the real-name system] is legitimate based on the Banking Law and the Financial Information Act,” Top Star News described, adding that:
If the court makes an unconstitutional judgment, all the existing [cryptocurrency] regulations of the government can be nullified.
According to the Economic Review, the matter “shall be concluded within 180 days” from the date of filing under the Constitutional Court Act which was on December 30. Therefore, the case is expected to conclude by the end of June.
Do you think the court will rule that the cryptocurrency regulations are unconstitutional? Let us know in the comments section below.
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The post Korean Supreme Court to Judge Whether Crypto Regulations Are Unconstitutional appeared first on Bitcoin News.
A landmark ruling by the nation’s highest court gave Henry Montgomery his first chance at freedom after nearly a half-century behind bars. Two years later, the 71-year-old Louisiana man is still waiting for a parole hearing that could set him free. The AP reports Thursday marks the two-year anniversary of…
The Supreme Court said it would consider whether states can broadly require online retailers to collect sales taxes even for states where they lack a physical presence—with a potential major impact on online commerce.
WSJ.com: US Business
Four senior judges of India’s Supreme Court have come out in the open complaining about the working of the country’s top court.