In recent days, the important pieces in the Ethereum ecosystem such as MetaMask or Infura have also taken a hard line on the war zones subject to US sanctions. This was shown on March 3, when many users reported that they could not access MetaMask services. However, some areas are not included in the countries under sanctions, such as Venezuela, which are also affected.
So what happened? Why do the heads of the Ethereum ecosystem take these actions? Let's find out the causes and solutions for this.
Overview of MetaMask and Infura
What is Infura?
Infura is an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, trusted by many project developers to connect with the Ethereum ecosystem including the MetaMask wallet. Simply put, Infura provides an endpoint for the Ethereum API where the developers' code will be directed. The system will ensure that the information and requests will always reach the network. It will then respond with the requested information.
What is MetaMask Wallet?
MetaMask is a decentralized wallet based on the Ethereum ecosystem, as well as an add-on plugin that allows users to run DApps right on the browser.
MetaMask currently owns millions of users because of its simplicity and ease in use of the product. Despite the disadvantages such as not being able to log in to many wallet addresses as well as manually updating assets, MetaMask is still a destination for many people around the world.
One of the main reasons why MetaMask is so popular with beginners as well as veterans is the interoperability of the product with almost all Ethereum-based platforms. With over 3,700 different decentralized applications and Web3 services that publishers can connect with, most Dapps operating on EVM Blockchains in the crypto world will automatically integrate this cryptocurrency wallet.
With a ubiquitous presence, you will not be surprised when the Connect Wallet button with the fox logo appears first in the product list. It is no exaggeration to say that MetaMask is a big player in today's cryptocurrency wallets.
Due to the popularity of MetaMask, the event mentioned below has influenced and raised many doubts for many people.
Why did MetaMask and Infura block countries in war zones?
As mentioned above, MetaMask uses services from Infura. Therefore, on March 3, when Infura actively blocked countries subject to US government sanctions but accidentally expanded to a few other countries such as Venezuela, MetaMask was also affected.
Users in countries that are blocked from accessing MetaMask will receive the message “MetaMask is unable to connect to the blockchain host” causing many users to struggle. The question is “Will there still be decentralization in the products if the government continues to influence them?”
This move of Infura caused users in the affected countries to worry about the safety of their assets, as well as took away many opportunities to change their lives.
The very next day, users in some mistakenly blocked countries like Venezuela heaved a sigh of relief when Infura corrected its mistake. Below is the notice correcting as well as confirming that the adjustment of some settings leading to the above incident originated from the new sanctions of the US and some other regions.
It can be seen that, when our market is increasingly expanding, it is certain that political factors are also gradually creeping in, impacting little by little.
The strong influence of the Crypto market has reached the national stature
Gradually, as the market continues to expand, knowledge about the world of cryptocurrencies is more popular, people will gradually understand and accept it.
Politicians cannot ignore this potential market and immediately turn it into a spearhead to support themselves in any war. It is possible to mention the popularity of Ukraine DAO - a decentralized autonomous organization whose initial purpose is to raise money for Ukraine, and it has collected more than 12 million dollars (at the time of writing).
The Ukrainian government also acknowledged that they will airdrop those who donate crypto to the country's previously announced wallet addresses. While this move has been rescinded and replaced by NFT in support of the Ukrainian armed forces, it is still the clearest demonstration that the influence of crypto has reached the national stature and beyond the barrier between the crypto market and the traditional market.
Anything that grows too strongly and affects the current balance of the order will also be restrained. In the future, if the crypto market continues to expand and get accepted more widely, the governments of other countries will surely get involved in:
- Many crypto-related laws are issued.
- The security organizations protecting the interests of users in that country will be established.
⇒ The order in this field will be affected and more or less governed.
What if Infura, Metamask continue to expand the restricted list?
Too early to talk about the consequences of Infura's actions now, let’s take an example that is currently happening so that we can have a better general view.
The recent exclusion from SWIFT (Association of Interbank Telecommunication and International Finance) has caused money circulation problems between Russia and foreign partners, leading to the withdrawal of international brands in many fields such as electronics, cinema, finance, etc.
If we consider Infura as SWIFT and MetaMask as any area mentioned above, the more countries are on Infura's black list, the narrower the portal connecting users in those countries with the Ethereum ecosystem will be in the future.
In the short term, there is not much change as the blocked countries have users only a fraction of the products mentioned above. Money losses will certainly be there but the number will still be too small for the "big guys", only if the countries with large market share are limited, they will speak for themselves.
However, when the market expands and the demand increases, the appearance of products such as electronic wallets, DApps or even private blockchains for countries will also be considered and built, opening up opportunities for new products as well as the opportunity to acquire market share for products in the same field.
After all, Infura or MetaMask is not interested in cutting off their market share, however, with the influence of political factors as well as long-term vision in the future, they need to be popular with the ruling elite in the world. So that when crypto is legalized and has its laws that force it, it is always the pioneers who benefit the most.
Solutions for users
We do not know when it will be the turn of our country to come under the spotlight in the mutual punishment of politicians. The fact that Infura blocked the countries under the sanctions this time is a very clear premise for similar events to take place in the future. As a Domino effect, it is possible that e-wallet products on Ethereum can also follow this move of MetaMask.
Therefore, it is an imperative need for us to offer alternative storage now.
Using the unique e-wallet of each blockchain
Currently, on each blockchain, there is a type of e-wallet that supports its ecosystem. These can be mentioned as Phantom on Solana, Keplr on Cosmos, Near Wallet on Near,… just focusing on developing on one blockchain will help users get support in improving the experience better.
Therefore, if you’re experiencing any specific blockchain, try to refer to that blockchain's e-wallet.
Using multichain e-wallet
It is impossible to replace the strong market share and presence of MetaMask. However, some of the e-wallet products below can give you experiences that are not inferior or even improved in certain aspects compared to MetaMask.
Coin98 Super App
The Coin98 Super App is a super app that provides users with a complete and reliable ecosystem with over 53 blockchains and 10,000+ coins/tokens already integrated. With the Coin98 Super App, users can experience all services on a single product including:
- A non-custodial multichain wallet that stores NFTs & cryptocurrencies.
- A suite of Decentralized exchanges integrated right on the application.
- A treasure trove of multi-chain DeFi services DApp Browser.
- A powerful Terminal.
- Attractive rewards programs, gifts, events and other activities.
With an eye-catching and friendly interface, the Coin98 Super App is a worthy destination to replace MetaMask. In addition to supported blockchains, users can freely choose to experience as well as expand investment opportunities on many different networks.
What are you waiting for, download Coin98 Super App and experience it right away!
Trust Wallet is a popular Binance e-wallet with 5 million active users. The interface which is simple and easy to use is the first impression for users when using.
Trust Wallet supports storing assets on many platforms and connects its wallet with Dapps Browser so that users can freely learn and trade on Trust Wallet's app store.
Coinbase Wallet is a decentralized cryptocurrency storage wallet that supports over 4,000 asset classes. In addition to storing Crypto, Coinbase Wallet also allows users to deposit NFTs into the wallet. The Coinbase wallet is also integrated with Dapps for users to have an easier experience when storing assets on this wallet.
After all, I hope to have provided you with a perspective on the events that occurred between Infura, MetaMask and the countries under sanctions. If the instability continues to escalate, finding new replacement products for long-term use is inevitable.
In my view, politics is gaining a certain weight in the market as a recognition that crypto is flourishing. Perhaps in the near future, cryptocurrency wallets will also play a part in daily life. So, you can consider and "buy" the best wallet in your journey of experiencing the DeFi world.
If you have any questions as well as get new insights in this event, leave a comment below so we can also discuss! See you guys in the next topics.