Ethereum-based infrastructure provider Infura mistakenly blocked access to certain jurisdictions, such as Venezuela and Iran, while attempting to follow sanctions imposed as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war.
The move resulted in the regions being unable to use MetaMask since its network accesses the blockchain via Infura. “MetaMask and Infura are unavailable in certain jurisdictions due to legal compliance.” the two wrote in a joint statement Thursday.
Infura is a Web3 backend and Infrastructure provider for blockchain developers and companies. The company later confirmed in a Tweet that the issue stemmed from its own glitch, elaborating:
“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. This was our oversight, and we are grateful that it was pointed out to us.”
We sincerely apologize for the interruption to those in inadvertently impacted regions.
— Infura (@infura_io) March 3, 2022
Infura has since corrected the issue and restored access for the unrelated jurisdictions. The infrastructure provider has been staying ahead on the recent US sanctions and responding to changes in areas to limit its services. So far, Infura is unavailable in Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Syria, and the Crimea, Donetsk, and Luhansk regions of Ukraine, the firm’s parent company ConsenSys told Decrypt.
Meanwhile, MetaMask later tweeted its own explanation on the matter, and noted, “MetaMask relies on Infura as the default endpoint, but this setting can be modified by users if desired, or in case of any service interruptions.”
MetaMask is a client-side wallet that strives to make the blockchain maximally accessible to everyone. Infura had a misconfiguration this morning, but it has been corrected now. https://t.co/CYAhvGunHo
— MetaMask 🦊💙 (@MetaMask) March 3, 2022
The US and the European Union are currently planning to take actions to prohibit Russia from evading sanctions using cryptocurrencies. In particular, European Central Bank Governor Christine Lagarde is reportedly pushing to ban crypto companies from serving Russian users.