This week, popular crypto-wallet provider MetaMask started banning all wallets associated with Iranian IP addresses. On Thursday (March 3), numerous members of the crypto and NFT community took to social media, sharing news that they had been completely barred from accessing MetaMask services.
The news of MetaMask’s widespread bans broke as the company released this short blog post explaining that the ban and connectivity issues are due to their agreement with Infura — the service provider that MetaMask uses to get information on and off of blockchains. In the post, the wallet provider states that services will not be available to users in “certain jurisdictions due to legal compliance.”
It seems MetaMask isn’t the only web3 entity moving to restrict access to users in Iran though, as today Twitter users have found that OpenSea, the world’s largest NFT marketplace, has seemingly begun a large-scale takedown of user accounts registered in Iran.
This is a big issue in a community and ecosystem that thrives off of the idea of decentralization. These recent bans have caused outrage among users, many of whom have opened up discussions about the apparent lack of a truly decentralized crypto and NFT marketplace.
For a few hours, sources were also reporting that MetaMask had been blocking Ethereum transactions in Venezuela as well. Members of the NFT community have since supposedly found this event to be fixable at the user level.
At the time of publication, Infura had posted an update to Twitter, saying they had “corrected the problem” that apparently was “a result of the new sanctions directives from the United States and other jurisdictions.”
This is a developing story and will be updated as new information comes in.
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