LocalBitcoins, a Finnish-based over-the-counter Bitcoin exchange that was blacklisted by Russia’s megaregulator Roskomnadzor under the provision “illegal information on the internet”, announced it has launched a mirror trading site for its Russian clients.
The site LocalBitcoins.net has been running in test mode for a few weeks and is now available to use and is supposedly available to the exchange’s Russian clients. It offers the same functionality as the “original” site LocalBitcoins.com and is currently the only available mirror. According to the company, however, from now on it will be able to set up new mirrors faster.
LocalBitcoins is a Helsinki-based startup that offers over-the-counter P2P trading of local currencies for bitcoin and vice versa. Users can post on the site advertisements they sell or buy bitcoin and the exchange rate. Payments can happen either in cash, via bank transfer or online payment service. For every transaction, LocalBitcoins.com offers escrow or transaction service to protect the buyer of bitcoins. The exchange is also implementing a reputation-based ranking of customers. LocalBitcoins’ service is available in more than 240 countries.
Currently the position of the Russian authorities on bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general is rather unclear. Earlier this year the government was planning to outlaw them altogether and introduce hefty fines and prison terms for trading in cryptocurrencies. Later the country’s deputy-finance minister Alexei Moiseev hinted at softening the stance on bitcoin, but the consultations are still ongoing.