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

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OpenSea’s terms of service expressly prohibit users from accessing their site from sanctioned zones.

Artists suffered

OpenSea (1), a nonfungible token (NFT) platform, has largely excluded artists and collectors from Cuba due to US sanctions. According to a report published by Artnet, thirty artists and collectors have reportedly been banned from the well-known NFT market so far. The most famous artist removed were the famous Havana artists Fabrica de Arte Cubano and Gabriel Guerrera Biancini.

In its Terms of Service (2), the OpenSea Market prohibits permitted persons and residents of permitted countries. The NFT market is well known for adhering to US restrictions and includes countries such as Syria, Iran and Venezuela. Cuba has now been added to that list due to recent restrictions on Cuban artists.

Opensea’s response

An OpenSea spokesperson told us,

“We are continuing to review what further steps need to be taken to support our community and comply with applicable law.”

In early December, the NFT Cuba Art Twitter account claimed that OpenSea had banned them from viewing or displaying their artwork while holding their wallets. Bit Remasa creator, Erich García Cruz, responded that their NFT collections are banned. Gabriel Bianchini, founder of CryptoCuban, noted that the future of Web3 does not seem to be decentralized.

After OpenSea, many cryptocurrency platforms had to stop providing services to Russian users. Among the new sanctions were those imposed by the European Union earlier this year when the war in Ukraine began. Although the Bitcoin ecosystem is based on the concept of decentralization, most intermediaries and companies offering various services continue to operate like most centralized Web2 businesses. The cryptocurrency community demanded the removal of middlemen in response to its dissatisfaction with the NFT market’s auctions. Another commenter argued that truly decentralized systems are necessary regardless of country.


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