Accounts belonging to OpenSea users with Iranian IP addresses have been canceled in the face of a growing debate regarding international sanctions and Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
Not only cryptocurrency exchanges are impacted by this issue. OpenSea, an NFT marketplace based in the United States, has likewise had to respond to the shift in focus to digital assets.
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Iranian Users Blocked
According to various accounts from collectors and artists who have recently been unable to access the service, OpenSea began barring Iranian users on Friday. Numerous dissatisfied traders resorted to Twitter to express their indignation over the surprise measures.
A spokesman for OpenSea verified that it does indeed ban users from sanctioned territories:
“OpenSea prohibits individuals and areas on the United States’ sanctions list from accessing our services – including purchasing, selling, or transferring NFTs on OpenSea,” the marketplace’s representative told CoinDesk in a statement.
“We have a zero-tolerance policy for sanctioned individuals or entities, as well as those residing in sanctioned nations,” the spokesman added.
Total crypto market cap at $1.795 trillion in the daily chart | Source: TradingView.com
‘Error 404’ For Iranian OpenSea Users
However, pressure on cryptocurrency exchanges has increased. The National Security Council of the White House and the US Treasury Department issued an order this week to the main cryptocurrency exchanges.
According to the directive, the Biden administration has asked cryptocurrency exchanges to guarantee that “Russians do not use cryptocurrency as a means of escape.”
In the case of OpenSea, the cut-off has been reported by more than five Iranian OpenSea users, three of them acknowledged that they utilized the service while in Iran. Nima Leo Photos stated on the platform that their collection of images is no longer viewable.
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Venezuela Not Spared
Arman, an OpenSea user from Iran, also reported receiving an “Error 404” when attempting to visit the marketplace. And Arefeh Norouzii said that their verified account was taken down “without reason” earlier Friday.
Meanwhile, developer tool Infura, which helps create decentralized applications like trading platforms and games, has blocked access in Venezuela.
As a result, MetaMask, one of the most popular wallets and interface tools for users to connect with such applications, has become unusable.
MetaMask indirectly confirmed the suspension in a blog post updated at 12:00 Eastern Time, stressing how users in specific sanctioned areas may receive error messages when attempting to access the wallet.
Featured image from ABC News, chart from TradingView.com