A defunct Russian bitcoin exchange has released its source code to the bitcoin community amid the country’s perceived crackdown on digital currency.
Its three founders had self-funded the platform’s year-long production process, spending approximately $100,000 to reach an alpha version.
However, faced with Russia’s increasingly hostile regulatory climate, the team decided to abandoned their launch – making their work public instead. Project manager Ivan Starinin told CoinDesk:
“The bitcoin community is open source at its core and we wanted to contribute somehow. Giving away our source code turned out to be the logical step to show our love to the community. The bitcoin ecosystem needs to reunite at these times more than ever before.”
Bitcoin in Russia
Bitcoin has come under increasing scrutiny by the Russian authorities.
Earlier this year, the country’s media watchdog proceeded to blacklist a series of bitcoin-related websites, restricting domestic access to their domains. More recently, the censored websites – including bitcoin news website and exhibition company Smile Expo – took their case before a judge in an attempt to overrule the decision.
Such actions were prompted by legislation proposed by the Russian Ministry of Finance in August 2014. Expected to be passed this summer, the draft bill would ban digital currencies, imposing fines on those who openly promote the technology, as part of a broader bid to crackdown on “monetary surrogates” in the face of capital flight abroad.
At the time, the chairman of Crypto Currencies Foundation of Russia, Igor Chepkasov, told CoinDesk that the ruling was part of a wider clampdown which he believed pointed to the prohibition of bitcoin in the country. He urged bitcoin enthusiasts to fight against the imposed measures, asking them to “unite and fight for their rights”.
Moscow Red Square image via Shutterstock