- Iran-based OpenSea users share images of wiped Twitter history.
- The US has imposed limitations on Iran since 1979.
- Authorities and the general public are interested in how crypto firms comply with sanctions.
OpenSea users with Iranian IP addresses allege their accounts were cancelled on Thursday, as part of a bigger conversation regarding international sanctions and prominent Web 3.0 platforms.
NOT A gm AT ALL
Woke up to my @opensea trading account being deactivated/deleted without notice or any explanation, hearing lots of similar reports from other Iranian artists & collectors.
What the hell is going on?
Is OS straight up purging its users based on their country now?
— Bornosor.eth (@Bornosor) March 3, 2022
Multiple people came to Twitter with screenshots indicating that their account history had been wiped, and users who administer verified collections stated that their collections had been purged.
“OpenSea blocks users and territories on the U.S. sanctions list from using our services, including buying, selling, or transferring NFTs on OpenSea,” a spokesperson from the marketplace told CoinDesk in a statement. “If we discover that an individual has violated our sanctions policy, we take immediate action to ban the connected accounts.”
The sanctions in question are directed at the Iranian government and prohibit US corporations from selling products or services to any user situated in Iran. OpenSea is a Delaware-based firm with its headquarters in New York.
In the midst of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, policymakers have increased their focus on cryptocurrency businesses’ compliance with sanctions. During a Senate committee hearing on Thursday, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) questioned Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on whether cryptocurrency may be used to undermine sanctions.
Chair Powell, obviously you do not administer sanctions, but you are an expert on the international financial system. Are other countries currently using cryptocurrencies to evade sanctions? I’m thinking here of North Korea, Iran, Venezuela– She stated.
Powell stated that he has “read that those things happen.”
This isn’t the first time the cryptocurrency sector has encountered a murky legal area – in November, Ethereum software developer ConsenSys suddenly denied a group of Iranian students from their coding college, citing similar constraints.