WalletConnect Blocks Russian Users to Comply with Sanctions

WalletConnect Blocks Russian Users to Comply with Sanctions

Key Insights

  • WalletConnect has blocked access for Russian users to adhere to escalating sanctions related to the conflict in Ukraine.
  • The company cited the need to comply with international sanctions and emphasized maintaining the integrity of the open-source WalletConnect protocol.
  • This decision underscores the impact of geopolitical factors and regulations on even decentralized cryptocurrency services.

Web3 startup WalletConnect has restricted access for customers in Russia in an effort to comply with intensifying sanctions over the war in Ukraine.

The company announced the move in a post on Twitter, citing legal guidance and restrictions from the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

In light of the latest legal and OFAC guidance, WalletConnect has restricted the availability of the WalletConnect Protocol in Russia, the company said.

WalletConnect enables consumers to connect crypto wallets like MetaMask across different apps and platforms. CEO Pedro Gomes said access was cut off on Monday as sanctions ramp up.

OFAC has long targeted Russian crypto flows, putting pressure on virtual currency firms to avoid violations. The Biden administration issued sweeping sanctions after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, mostly severing Russia’s ties to the global financial system.

We are committed to complying with international sanctions, said Gomes. Our priority is maintaining the integrity of the open source WalletConnect protocol.

Ukraine was also temporarily impacted as WalletConnect worked to disable services only in sanctioned areas. Gomes denied reports that access was restricted in other unaffected countries.

Read also! OneKey Crypto Wallet Imposes User Restrictions in Russia and Other Countries

The move by WalletConnect demonstrates how even decentralized crypto services are constrained by geopolitical factors and regulation. With sanctions expanding, companies like WalletConnect face growing compliance burdens.

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