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Due to US sanctions, OpenSea has prohibited Cuban artists from using its platform

OpenSea, an NFT marketplace, has been excluding artists and collectors from Cuba, mostly due to US sanctions.

Photo by Ron McClenny / Unsplash

The terms of service of OpenSea expressly forbid users from sanctioned zones from accessing their platform.

The Artists affected

OpenSea (1), a nonfungible token (NFT) platform, has been excluding artists and collectors from Cuba, mostly due to US sanctions. Thirty artists and collectors have reportedly been barred from the well-known NFT marketplace up until this point, according to a report published by Artnet. The most well-known artist to be fired includes well-known Havana-based artists Fábrica de Arte Cubano and Gabriel Guerra Bianchini.

In its terms of service (2), the OpenSea marketplace forbids sanctioned people and those residing in sanctioned countries. The NFT market's adherence to US restrictions was well-known and comprised nations like Syria, Iran, and Venezuela. Cuba, however, is now included in that list due to the recent restrictions on Cuban artists.

Opensea's response

An OpenSea spokesperson informed us,

"We continue to holistically analyze what more steps need to be made to support our community and comply with applicable law."

Early in December, the NFT Cuba Art Twitter account claimed that OpenSea had forbidden them from seeing or displaying their artwork while they still possessed their wallets. Bit Remasa's creator, Erich Garcia Cruz, retorted that their NFT collections were prohibited. Gabriel Bianchini, the founder of Cryptocuban, noted that the future of Web3 doesn't appear to be decentralized.

In the aftermath of OpenSea, several cryptocurrency sites had to discontinue services for Russian users. Of the new sanctions, the European Union imposed when the Ukraine war started earlier this year. Although the bitcoin ecosystem is based on the decentralization concept, most intermediaries and corporations that provide various services continue to operate like most centralized Web2 businesses. The cryptocurrency community demanded the removal of intermediaries in response to its dissatisfaction with the NFT marketplace's auctions. Another commenter argued that genuine decentralized systems without regard to nations are necessary.