MetaMask and Infura are under fire for freezing users' accounts due to sanctioned regions

Users of MetaMask Wallet and Infura in some jurisdictions have found themselves in the crosshairs as a result of Western governments imposing sanctions on Russia for its full-scale invasion of neighboring Ukraine.


MetaMask and Infura froze users accounts due to regulation issues.
MetaMask and Infura

Multiple users in Venezuela reported losing access to their cryptocurrency on these Consensys software platforms on Thursday.


"It appears that simply being in Venezuela prevents you from using MetaMask's main Ethereum-Infura link." "This is a sign that "the decentralization" that they proclaim so much is a hoax," one unhappy user tweeted.


Although no mention of the Russia/Ukraine restrictions was made at the time, it was later revealed that these Ethereum networks had been incorrectly set to block out some blacklisted areas "due to legal compliance," according to Infura.


Following the outage, Infura, which hosts Ethereum nodes and provides custodial services on behalf of a number of companies, responded, claiming that the settings had been misconfigured "in changing some configurations as a result of the new sanction directives from the United States and other jurisdictions."


They have subsequently figured out what had happened and were able to restore their services.


MetaMask, which relies on Infura's API to connect to the Ethereum network, reacted minutes later, blaming Infura's misconfiguration for causing a similar impact on its customers' wallets.


"As the default endpoint, MetaMask relies on Infura," wrote MetaMask, "although this configuration can be updated by users if desired, or in the event of any service outages."


The disruptions, however, did not sit well with some crypto enthusiasts, who criticized the two networks' claims of decentralization.


"If Metamask/Infura is open to blocking countries like Venezuela based on IP addresses, it's only a matter of time until regulators force them to censor individual people's IP addresses," says the author.