Infura and Alchemy Block Access to Tornado Cash

After the United States Treasury banned crypto privacy platform, Tornado Cash, it seems as though this ban is causing a ripple effect on the usability of the platform, going beyond US citizens. Crypto API and node infrastructure providers, Infura and Alchemy, which are centralized entities in the cryptocurrency, have moved to blacklist Tornado Cash.

Both platforms are currently blocking what is known as Remote Procedure Call (RPC) requests to Tornado Cash, according to a Twitter user, “0xdev0.” RPC calls enable users of decentralized apps to communicate with blockchain servers, especially when the user is not running their own individual node. Infura and Alchemy are among a number of RPC providers popular among crypto users.

What this effectively means is Tornado Cash users who are using Alchemy or Infura endpoints are not able to access the privacy service. This restriction seems to however be limited to the front-end code. It is still possible to access Tornado Cash from the command line interface (CLI) via “method calling,” as has been reported by some other users on Twitter.

What you should know

  • Without stating the obvious, the RPC request blockade is tied to Tornado Cash’s recent troubles in the United States. As previously mentioned, the US Treasury on Monday sanctioned the crypto mixer by adding 44 of its wallet addresses to its sanctions list.
  • The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), a watchdog agency tasked with preventing sanctions violations, added Tornado Cash to its Specially Designated Nationals list, a running tally of blacklisted people, entities and cryptocurrency addresses.
  • Since the announcement, the platform’s website, email, and GitHub accounts have all been taken down. Circle, the USDC stablecoin issuer, has also frozen USDC in affected wallets.

Infura especially has been known to block access to crypto services in accordance with US sanctions. Users in places like Iran and Venezuela have routinely complained of being unable to use MetaMask. The MetaMask wallet uses Infura as its default RPC endpoint for connecting to the Ethereum network.





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