Iranian – Venezuelan Users vanish from Major Crypto Platforms

With sanctions on Russia mounting, pressure has grown on prominent crypto exchanges such as Coinbase, Kraken, and Binance to restrict Russian users’ access to their platforms.
Thus, major users of the crypto industry are alert to potential leaks in sanction compliance programs.

Today, OpenSea, the world’s largest NFT marketplace, which saw $5 billion in trading volume in January, was reported to have cut Iranian users off its platform.
As a result, many merchants have taken to Twitter to express their anger over the previously unannounced measures.

In addition, Infura, a developer tool used to build centralized applications such as trading and gaming platforms, has also restricted access to it from users in Venezuela.
This has made MetaMask, one of the most popular wallets and interface tools available to users to render these programs unusable.

A recent MetaMask post, indirectly acknowledged the outage, highlighting how users in some sanctioned jurisdictions received error messages if they tried to access the wallet.

To be clear, Infura, MetaMask, and ConsenSys are all investment funds owned by the United States of America.

Moreover, these mutual funds focus their investments on Ethereum. Although the decision to ban Russian users did not specifically mention Venezuela, messages circulated on social media indicating individuals in that country were targeted.

The timing of these measures is likely not a coincidence. Consequently, with the Russian financial sector increasingly isolated from the rest of the world by the blacklisting of several banks, they have been cut off from the SWIFT messaging network. The Russian Central Bank has also seen its $630 billion in assets frozen. Iran has been an adversary of the United States since the fall of the Shah in 1979 and an authoritarian theocratic institution in the country committed to the destruction of Israel.
Over the past 20 years, concerns have also grown about the extent of Iran’s nuclear activities. Specifically, whether it is trying to develop a nuclear weapon, a charge that Iran denies.

Venezuela became a staunch adversary of the United States during the presidency of Hugo Chávez, who held that position from 1999 until his death in 2013 as Hugo openly called upon countries such as Russia and Iran during his presidency. So does his successor, Nicolas Maduro, with a similar level of opposition to the United States.

In conclusion, these investment platforms as US-based companies are, therefore, obligated to comply with all sanctions and regulations that they impose on users.
This point may be the only loophole in the crypto market, which the United States has taken advantage of in its sanctions against Russia and the countries that oppose it.

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