Ethereum Accused Of Being A “Trojan Horse For Tyranny” Following MetaMask Scandal

March 5, 2022 2:43 pm

Metamask users in Iran and Venezuela have recently reported issues about not being able to complete transactions using their Metamask wallets.

There maybe the possibility that some users may have actually been blocked for various reasons such as “legal compliance” indicating that the platform is not as decentralized as some originally thought.

The action to block specific users from using Metamask services is possible since it uses gateways that is owned by the Ethereum developer Consensys.

Reactions among the crypto community have been largely negative with many disappointed that the theme of decentralization might be a false conception for Metamask.

CryptoSlate reports:

As expected, the community response wasn’t pretty, with deceit over decentralization being a common theme. And considering what’s happening in Russia-Ukraine, some realize that you or I could be next.

The Block’s VP of Research, Larry Cermak, said that if MetaMask is prepared to block Venezuelan IP addresses, it won’t be long before they block individual IP addresses. As a result, Cermak suggested users move to alternative wallet providers.

“If Metamask/Infura is open and willing to block countries like Venezuela by IP addresses, it’s only a matter of time until they are forced by regulators to censor individual people’s IP addresses.

We need alternatives immediately, hoping that Alchemy and others don’t do this.”

But the latest data on MetaMask users shows there are 21 million monthly active users, making it the most popular wallet on the market. As such, making the jump to a viable alternative could prove tricky.

Brad Mills, the host of The Magic Internet Money podcast, tweeted that Ethereum was a trojan horse for tyranny and pointed out that many large corporations such as JPMorgan and UBS actually have ownership over ConsenSys.

As a result, transactions done through Consensys could theoretically be controlled and monitored which makes them vulnerable to the government.

Metamask responded to the reported issues by saying that the issues were caused by an Infura misconfiguration, but many users are not buying it.

The recent backlash online from the crypto community also comes after the news of Consensys undergoing a “special audit”.

CryptoSlate shares:

But the relationship between ConsenSys and JPMorgan is deeper than that. A group of 35 ConsenSys shareholders has demanded a “special audit” of the 2020 deal, which saw JPMorgan acquire a stake in MetaMask and Infura.

It’s alleged the ConsenSys Board had breached its fiduciary duties by approving the deal at the detriment of minority shareholders. As a result, the group is seeking to void the agreement.

“fundamental intellectual property and subsidiaries were illegally transferred from CAG into a new entity, ConsenSys Software Incorporated (CSI).”

With JPMorgan deeply embedded in the Ethereum ecosystem, is it time to admit ETH isn’t run for our benefit?

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