Venezuela and Iran lose crypto access

OpenSea, the world’s biggest NFT marketplace, has confirmed that it has blocked Iranian users from its platform.

An OpenSea official said that the company is looking to block people from territories that are currently under US sanctions.

Meanwhile, Infura, which is one of the most popular tools for building decentralized applications, was blocked in Venezuela, leading to a shutdown of the MetaMask wallet and interface tools.

MetaMask shared a blog post in which it said that it is cutting off access to consumers based in certain markets as well.

MetaMask did not confirm that Venezuela was one of those locations, but the increasing number of complaints by people based in the country suggests it is.

A growing number of Russians are also saying that they have been cut off from crypto platforms, including MetaMask.

After an initial refusal to block ordinary Russians from accessing crypto platforms, the industry seems to have had a change of heart.

As Russia has been disconnected from the SWIFT payment system and the Russian Central Bank had $630bn worth of assets frozen, it’s likely that the US Securities and Exchange Commission, along with other regulators, are trying to clamp down on any party or platform that may serve as the basis of skirting those sanctions.

Meanwhile, the main crypto exchanges out there, including Coinbase, Kraken and Binance have said that they would mostly not opt to block Russian wallets and transactions as that would violate the economic freedom of individuals in those territories.

However, this attitude may now be changing as the death toll continues to rise in Ukraine. The US has already set up a special task force to ensure that the sanctions are not skirted.

If you would like to support the aid efforts in Ukraine, visit UkraineDAO.


Updated: 03/04/2022 — 16:00