- Iranian artists claimed OpenSea has blocked them from the marketplace.
- Venezuelans also lost access to MetaMask.
- Both Iran and Venezuela are friends with Russia.
Amid escalating tensions in Europe sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, users from Iran and Venezuela reported access restrictions from various platforms. For instance, Iranians said that leading NFT marketplace OpenSea blocked access without any warning.
Bornosor, Co-Creator of Bored Punk NFTs, said that OpenSea has blocked access to him upon waking up. In addition, he said that the marketplace has banned every person who owned an Iranian passport.
Bornosor alleged that OpenSea blocked another digital artist named Parin Heidari, who lives in Italy although she is Iranian by blood.
“The point is that self-proclaimed decentralized Ethereum DApps are banning Iranians by blood in broad daylight!” Bornosor added.
Meanwhile, MetaMask users in Venezuela lost access to the crypto wallet. To be fair, the user ban did not come from MetaMask directly. Instead, this was due to Infura, a developer tool for developing decentralized applications (DApps).
This made Larry Cermak, The Block’s VP of Research, comment:
“If Metamask/Infura is open and willing to block countries like Venezuela by IP addresses, it’s only a matter of time until they are forced by regulators to censor individual people’s IP addresses. We need alternatives immediately, hoping that Alchemy and others don’t do this.”
To bring the uninitiated up to speed, Iran and Venezuela are known for their hostility toward the US. Conversely, leaders of these countries have established close ties with Russia, which is now invading Ukraine.
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