Venezuelan MetaMask Users Face Temporary Downtime, Others Lodge Censorship Complaints

Some users of MetaMask in Venezuela are facing temporary downtime due to a change in configuration settings of Infura related to recent economic sanctions.

Reports are emerging that MetaMask users in certain countries are unable to access the service. This has sparked a wave of criticism about censorship. The critics point to a statement in MetaMask’s troubleshooting page, where it says that it is unable to serve users in certain jurisdictions.

MetaMask troubles in South America

One of these countries is Venezuela, which has been known to have an enthusiastic user base for crypto. Iran, Cuba, and Syria are also some of the other countries affected, according to users on Twitter.

MetaMask relies on Infura as the default endpoint, hence why it was affected. However, in the event of such service interruptions, MetaMask users can change the endpoint if desired.

Infura has responded to the concerns that have emerged, saying that they have fixed the issue. The problem had to do with a change in configurations that was necessitated by the recent sanctions from the U.S. and other countries. The change resulted in a “mistaken configuration” of the settings that was broader than necessary.

OpenSea has also been blacklisting accounts from those in the region. The popular NFT marketplace responded to users’ complaints, saying that it had no choice but to do so. The platform is based in the U.S. and has to comply with U.S. sanctions laws, so it does not seem like much can change.

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ConsenSys facing independent audit after filing

In other news, a press release published on March 2 shows that 35 former employees of ConsenSys filed a request for a special audit. The audit has to do with a transfer of assets between ConSensys AG and ConSensys Software in Aug. 2020. This transfer had to do with a transfer of control of MetaMask and Infura, among other things.

The concern is that the assets were not priced correctly. MetaMask was valued as low as $4.4 million. Head of marketing and brand at ConsenSys Mesh Diana Richter said that the press release had inaccuracies and that the company refuted the allegations.

The case should have an auditor within three months. Both parties seem confident in their beliefs, but the matter should have more information as the audit arrives.


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