OpenSea, an NFT marketplace based in the United States, has blocked users based in Iran, according to reports from frustrated collectors and creators.
An OpenSea spokesperson had the following to say about the company restricting users from sanctioned countries:
“Users and territories on the United States’ sanctions list are barred from utilizing OpenSea’s services, including purchasing, selling, and transferring NFTs, and our Terms of Service expressly prevent sanctioned users or users in sanctioned areas from using our services.” We have a zero-tolerance policy for sanctioned persons or businesses and anyone who lives in sanctioned countries using our services. If we discover individuals who are breaking our sanctions policy, we immediately prohibit the accounts linked with them.”
Iranian NFT artists expressed their agitation to OpenSea
More than five Iranian OpenSea customers have reported the problem. Three of them verified that they utilized the service while in Iran.
Bornosor, a well-known Iranian NFT artist, expressed his dissatisfaction on Twitter.
When Arman, an user from Iran, tried to enter the marketplace, he received an error 404 notice. Arefeh Norouzii complained that their verified account was deleted “without reason” today.
RyanW, a moderator on the nft platform’s Discord server who frequently answers support inquiries, had stated this morning that he was “not aware of any Iranian account bans.”
In recent months, several people have expressed their dissatisfaction with OpenSea. Despite billions in monthly sales, the site continues to experience issues, including a recent $1.7 million external phishing attempt, a lawsuit over an allegedly “stolen” Bored Ape NFT, and $1.8 million reimbursed to consumers who lost NFTs through a listing scam.
The company’s activities have reignited debate over whether huge blockchain-based enterprises and services are sufficiently decentralized, with MetaMask joining in on sanction-based retaliation.
After blockchain development company Infura mistakenly extended the scope of its sanctions-related crackdowns, Venezualan users were accidentally barred from accessing their MetaMask wallets, according to MetaMask’s Twitter account.
This isn’t the first time the bitcoin sector has encountered a problem like this. For instance, owing to US sanctions, an Ethereum software company, ConsenSys, abruptly excluded a group of Iranian students from their coding academy in November 2021.
Since its launch, OpenSea has hosted over $22 billion in sales, making it the world’s largest NFT marketplace.