OpenSea users based in Iran claim their accounts have been suspended from the U.S.-based non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace, in a growing list of users experiencing restrictions from cryptocurrency-related service providers due to sanctions against the Iranian government, CoinDesk reported

Fast facts

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  • Many OpenSea users with Iran-based IP addresses posted screenshots on Twitter showing their account history had been deleted.
  • “OpenSea blocks users and territories on the U.S. sanctions list from using our services, including buying, selling, or transferring NFTs on OpenSea,” a representative of the marketplace told CoinDesk.
  • The U.S. has imposed restrictions on activities with Iran under various legal authorities since 1979, following the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.
  • Authorities and the public are taking interest in crypto companies’ compliance with sanctions amid the Russia-Ukraine war.
  • U.S. sanctions against a country may include the blocking of assets subject to U.S. jurisdiction, limits on access to the U.S. financial system, limits or prohibitions on transactions involving individuals and businesses, and denial of entry into the U.S.
  • In such situations, third-country banks could be used to settle trade with a country against which sanctions have been issued, like Iran, often through foreign banks that don’t have operations in countries that have imposed sanctions on Iran, or by routing payments through Iranian banks unaffected by the curbs.

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