Technology

Metamask restores the service in Venezuela after blocking it for several hours

Update 03/03/2022: This article was edited after its publication to add the potential solutions to the blockade and its possible relationship with the economic blocs in Russia.
Later, it was edited to report on the restoration of service.


Metamask, one of the most popular and used Ethereum wallets, restricted the functions available to users in Venezuela during the morning of Thursday, March 3. After noon, the service is available again.

As shared by several people on social networks, the impossibility of accessing the wallet was due to legal compliance issues and also affected Infura, the server that the wallet uses to send and receive data from the blockchain.

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The blockade lasted a few hours until access was finally restored.. The company that owns Metamask, Consensys, has not said if the service will be restricted again in the short term.

One of the first to report this situation was the Venezuelan bitcoiner José Rafael Peña. In its publication, accused that “just because he was in Venezuela” he could not have access to his wallet. He accompanied his message with a screenshot of the Metamask site on which It tries to justify why the platform cannot provide its service in certain countries.

A user showed on Twitter his discontent for not being able to use Metamask. Source: @joc_ra/ Twitter

In that Metamask post it is explained – very succinctly – that “Metamask and Infura are not available in certain jurisdictions due to legal compliance issues”. Further down, the release ends with a link for those users who wish to export their recovery passphrase.

Venezuelan users encountered this message while trying to use Metamask. Source: Metamask screenshot.

“This is a sign that the decentralization that they preach so much is false,” Peña added. In this regard, it should be noted that Infura is a service for exchanging data with the Ethereum blockchain They use platforms like Metamask, CryptoKitties, PUERTO and TruFa.

While Infura makes platforms work better and makes it easier for developers to build apps, it works against decentralization. This is because an intermediary is placed between the application and the network, which can lead to problems like the one that is now occurring with users in Venezuela.

How to avoid this type of blockages?

Among the users who commented on the fact on Twitter, several highlighted that the use of a VPN could be a solution for these cases. VPNs, an acronym for “virtual private network” are services that encrypt data and modify the IP of an internet connection. In this way, they can hide the location of a user and show a false one.

Also, user @0xJokes commented On twitter that the problem can be fixed by adding a new RPC (short for remote procedure call) to connect to the Ethereum network in Metamask. In this way, the default connection of the wallet to the network (which depends on Infura) is replaced by a different one.

Finally, another alternative is to use other wallets to store cryptocurrencies, such as Trust Wallet, MyEtherWallet or MyCrypto. So far, none of them have expressed any inconvenience in operating in Venezuela.

Although there is still no confirmation on the reason that led Metamask to stop providing services in Venezuela, many speculate that it could be an economic blockade as a result of the Ukraine-Russia war that affects several countries.

As CriptoNoticias has reported, both from Ukraine and from other countries, including world powers, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, seek to sanction Russia with economic measures for its invasion of the neighboring country. With Venezuela having publicly supported the Russian actions —although also asking for dialogue to reach peaceful solutions—, it is possible that a US company such as Consensys, owner of Metamask, will hinder its operation in the South American country.

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