NFT Marketplace OpenSea Drops Users Amid Strict U.S. Sanctions

Ethereum-based NFT marketplace OpenSea has started dropping off users from its platform amid the ongoing U.S. Sanctions. This comes as exchanges have been asked to put a ban on Russian users following the recent harsh financial sanctions levied on Russia.

However, some exchanges like Binance and Kraken have refused a blanket ban but said that they would sanction only individual entities and per the U.S. sanctions.

The situation came to light as an Iranian artist @K1_Nazifi found that post the new update, they have been dropped off the OpenSea platform. The artist called it “great discrimination against the Iranian community”. The artists have further requested OpenSea to cancel their decision of boycotting the Iranian IPs and leave the ordinary people and the artist community out of politics. Responding to it, OpenSea said:

We’re truly sorry to the artists & creators that are impacted, but OpenSea is subject to strict policies around sanctions law. We’re a US-based company and comply with US sanctions law, meaning we’re required to block people in places on the US sanctions lists from using OpenSea.

Thus, OpenSea users from countries such as Iran and Venezuela have been facing the brunt of this action. Many users have lashed out at OpenSea for such an action saying that it goes against the ethos of the decentralized world.

Infura and Metamask Follow Cue

Infura, a developer tool for building decentralized applications has moved further to restrict user access in Venezuela. With this, one of the most popular wallet and infrastructure tools Metamask became unusable.

Metamask has indirectly acknowledged the cut-off explaining how users from the restricted jurisdictions will receive error messages if they try to access the wallet. ConsenSys, a U.S.-based venture fund and developer studio focused on Ethereum, currently owns both – Infura and Metamask.

It will be interesting to see whether more U.S-based crypto platforms will join to limit user access amid the ongoing sanctions.

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