Web3 communication protocol WalletConnect has restricted Russian users from using its service following recent sanctions by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). In a statement, WalletConnect CEO Pedro Gomes said that the company was complying with the latest legal and OFAC guidance.
“We can confirm that no other countries were blocked,” Gomes said, debunking rumors that WalletConnect had restricted users from other non-sanctioned countries.
The move has been met with criticism from some members of the crypto community, who argue that it contradicts the tenets of decentralization.
“Very cringe. Seems you’re not all in for web3, after all,” said one Twitter user.
“What is the OFAC document specifying this obligation? I’m curious to read the document that mentions the limitation of a messaging protocol such as WalletConnect,” said another.
Other users noted that the restriction might not be effective, as affected users could simply use a VPN to access WalletConnect.
WalletConnect’s decision comes at a time when OFAC is increasingly scrutinizing the use of cryptocurrencies in Russia. In recent months, OFAC has sanctioned a number of crypto companies and individuals for allegedly supporting Russia’s war effort in Ukraine.