Nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace OpenSea has banned artists and collectors from Cuba, citing US sanctions as the main reason for its action.
According to a report published by Artnet, 30 artists and collectors have been banned from the popular NFT market so far. The most famous artist to face the ax include renowned Havana-based artists Gabriel Guerra Bianchini and Fábrica de Arte Cubano.
OpenSea Marketplace has stated in its terms of service that it expressly prohibits sanctioned individuals and individuals in sanctioned jurisdictions. The NFT market’s compliance with US sanctions was widely known and included countries such as Venezuela, Iran and Syria. However, the recent blocking of Cuban artists also adds the country to that list.
“We continue to holistically evaluate what other measures need to be taken to serve our community and comply with applicable law,” an OpenSea spokesperson told Cointelegraph.
A Twitter profile called NFT Cuba Art revealed earlier in December that OpenSea had blocked them from viewing or listing their art while they still had access to their wallets. Erich García Cruz, the founder of Bit Remasa, replied that their NFT collections were also banned. Cryptocuban founder Gabriel Bianchini added that the future of Web3 does not look decentralized.
— GabrielBianchini.ethᵍᵐ (@GGBIANCHINI) December 13, 2022
Apart from OpenSea, several crypto platforms had to close their services for Russian clients in the wake of the new European Union sanctions issued after the war in Ukraine started earlier this year.
Related: Proactive sanctions can help save the ecosystem: Chainalysis exec
While the cryptocurrency ecosystem is built on the ethos of decentralization, the majority of intermediaries and firms that facilitate various services still operate much like most centralized Web2 companies.
The crypto community was not very happy with the auctions of the NFT market and called for the end of intermediaries. Another user said that there is a need for truly decentralized platforms that don’t care about nationalities