The country’s supervisory body for telecommunication, internet and mass media, Roskomnadzor has recently issued an order banning access to LocalBitcoins in Russia. The government body’s move came as a surprise to both LocalBitcoins and the country’s Bitcoin community, mainly due to the timing of the ban.
The order to block access to the Bitcoin platform follows a recent statement by the country’s deputy finance minister, Alexei Moiseev. In a recent speech, Moiseev indefinitely postponed the implementation of draft Bitcoin regulation, pending review from the ministry and cryptocurrency experts. The ban on LocalBitcoins has come at the time when the community was expecting the government to have more relaxed outlook towards the digital currency.
But all is not lost, as the peer-to-peer Bitcoin trading platform has published a detailed post, explaining ways to circumvent the blockade.
How to Access LocalBitcoins in Russia
The blockade is applicable to any traffic originating from Russian based IPs. In order to be able to access LocalBitcoins, one has to use a proxy connection, using “anonymizing services”(debatable) like TOR network or a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection. By establishing a connection to LocalBitcoins’ server through a different IP location, users can continue trading on the platform.
The blog also suggests its customers to use a premium VPN package as the available free VPN services may not be effective. However, those who are not willing to pay for the VPN package can download TOR browser and connect through TOR Network.
Choosing the VPN Service
There are plenty of VPN services out there on the internet. One can run an online search and choose a service they like. LocalBitcoins suggests two VPN services to its customers; IPVanish and NordVPN. Most VPN services these days understand the need for privacy among its customers and allows them to pay for the subscription with Bitcoin. In addition to Bitcoin payments, they also offer regular fiat based payment options.
Depending upon the choice of VPN service, users can download and install the VPN software package. Once installed, they will have to enter the login credentials associated with the subscription, choose a server location or set it to ‘automatic’. With all these setup, they will be able to access LocalBitcoins easily without having to worry about the blockade.
As long as the user is using an active VPN or TOR network, routing the connection through a different country’s IP, he/she will be able to access LocalBitcoins. With the access figured out, users are left with the trade/exchange part which remains unchanged. Sellers will be able to send their digital currency to the interested buyer over Bitcoin network without any third-party interference. And the buyer can choose any available method to transfer fiat currency to the seller’s account.
In order to ensure better rates, it is advisable for Russian LocalBitcoins users to ensure that they are dealing with someone from Russia and not the country through with the user’s connection is routed. Once all these steps are implemented, LocalBitcoins’ ban won’t bother the Russian Bitcoin community anymore.
Ref Image: LocalBitcoins