Infura, the service provider of Metamask, one of the most used smart contracts-based wallets, blocked the access of Venezuelans to the Ethereum blockchain. Reports about this happening circulated on social media, attributing it to the existence of sanctions that the infrastructure provider might have applied to Venezuela. However, Infura later stated this was the result of a misconfiguration issue related to other sanctions.
Infura Configuration Disrupts Metamask Support for Venezuelans
Infura, one of the most used service providers offering endpoint services to wallet programmers, left Venezuelan users without the ability to access their funds using Metamask. The first reports about Metamask not working with Venezuelan IPs saw users speculate on social media that the suspension may have to do with a new round of sanctions against the country.
Ezio Rojas, a Bitcoin-linked Venezuelan attorney, informed on social media that Metamask was now unusable in the country, stating:
When looking to access the wallet on the Ethereum network, the wallet launches an error stating that it ‘could not connect to the host of the blockchain.’
The report further explained that the Infura API revealed a geolocalization message when accessed by a Venezuelan IP, returning an error that said “This service is not available in your country.”
Mistakes Were Made
This blockade of Venezuelan users was active for some hours. The issue was solved by Infura, which promptly allowed citizens of the country to continue using Metamask and other services that use its endpoints. The company explained what happened via social media, apologizing for the troubles derived from the incident.
Infura declared that all was a mistake, stating that:
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.
Metamask, which reached more than 10 million monthly active users in August, also clarified that its platform relied on Infura endpoints to access Ethereum blockchain data by default, but that this configuration could be changed by users if desired or in case of any service interruptions like the one that affected Venezuelans.
What do you think about Infura’s mistake that left Venezuelans using Metamask without access to funds for several hours? Tell us in the comments section below.