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NFT Marketplace OpenSea Has Blocked Iranian Users Because of U.S. Sanctions

A number of Iranian-based users reported an issue wherein they were unable to access the website.

Photo by Bionick1234 / Envato / Blockwatch

The U.S.-based NFT marketplace titled OpenSea has started blocking users that are based in Iran, per multiple reports from various collectors and creators that all of a sudden found themselves unable to access the site, recently.

“OpenSea blocks users and territories on the U.S. sanctions list from using our services—including buying, selling, or transferring NFTs on OpenSea—and our Terms of Service explicitly prohibit sanctioned users or users in sanctioned territories from using our services. We have a zero-tolerance policy for the use of our services by sanctioned individuals or entities and people located in sanctioned countries. If we find individuals to be in violation of our sanctions policy, we take swift action to ban the associated accounts.”

More than 5 Iranian OpenSea users have reported this issue, 3 of whom were also able to confirm with Decrypt that they accessed the site while in Iran. Nima Leo Photos said that their photography collection’s now no longer visible on the platform.

Arman, an Iran-based OpenSea user also wrote that he received an error 404 message when he was trying to access the marketplace. Arefeh Norouzii also reported that today, their account, which was verified, has apparently been removed “with no explanation.”

A moderator for the OpenSea discord server known online as RyanW–and who also oftentimes answers support requests in the server–previously said that he was, as of this morning “not aware of any Iranian account bans.”

In recent months, OpenSea has had to deal with a slew of frustrated users. A lawsuit, for instance, over the allegedly “stolen” Bored Ape NFT, a recent $1.7 million external phishing attack, as well as $1.8 million refunded to users that lost NFTs from an OpenSea listing exploit, the website continues to face numerous challenges despite the billions it sees in monthly sales.


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