MetaMask, Infura Block ‘Certain Areas’ Amid Crypto Sanctions Fury

The two pillars of the Ethereum ecosystem did not say which areas were under blockade.

Mar 3, 2022 at 5:37 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 4, 2022 at 7:47 p.m. UTC

Danny is CoinDesk's deputy business editor. He owns BTC, ETH and SOL.

UPDATE (March 4, 3:17 UTC): Read this piece for a fuller telling of what happened.

Two key pieces of the Ethereum ecosystem – MetaMask and Infura – moved to restrict access to users in “certain areas” amid an industry-wide focus on the risk cryptocurrencies pose for evading international sanctions.

“MetaMask and Infura are unavailable in certain jurisdictions due to legal compliance,” the ConsenSys-controlled crypto wallet and infrastructure provider, respectively, said in a joint blog post time-stamped around 11:00 a.m. ET Thursday. Users from those areas would get an error message, the blog post said.

The post was later updated to say:

“By default, MetaMask accesses the blockchain via Infura, which is unavailable in certain jurisdictions due to legal compliance.”

The post did not state what “certain jurisdictions” were covered. Some Venezuela-based users were reporting service interruptions, although CoinDesk could not independently confirm this.

A ConsenSys representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

After the initial publication of this article, Infura said in a series of tweets that the restrictions were intended but made too broad through a technical error.

“In changing some configurations as a result of the new sanctions directives from the United States and other jurisdictions, we mistakenly configured the settings more broadly than they needed to be,” the project’s official Twitter handle said. “This was our oversight, and we are grateful that it was pointed out to us. Once we determined what happened, we were able to fix the problem, and service has been restored.”

UPDATE (March 3, 18:34 UTC): Adds comment from Infura tweet thread.

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Danny is CoinDesk's deputy business editor. He owns BTC, ETH and SOL.

Danny is CoinDesk's deputy business editor. He owns BTC, ETH and SOL.

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