The web3 protocol said its decision followed legal guidance from the U.S. Treasury while debunking unverified reports of restrictions on non-sanctioned countries.

Wallet Connect announced an update to which regions can access its open-source protocol used for linking blockchain wallets to decentralized apps. Russian users have been geo-blocked from the platform in line with sanctions from the Office of Foreign Assets Control  (OFAC).

The sanction came into effect on Oct. 30 and that led to restrictions on two countries – Russia and certain areas of Ukraine. Ukrainian users in other parts of the country were temporarily affected but service was subsequently restored, according to Wallet Connect’s team.

Reports making the rounds prior to the announcement said Wallet Connect also blocked a number of non-sanctioned countries. The protocol refuted such claims and apologized to general users for possible inconveniences. 

U.S. sanctions have cracked down on crypto gateways in Russia and the Middle East amid ongoing geopolitical tension between nations. The Department of Treasury and U.S. policymakers look to implement legislation they say would combat terror and war financing via digital assets. 

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) submitted new laws for consideration to boost oversight on crypto mixing services. Senator Elizabeth Warren also marshaled 20 percent of Congress to push new laws targeting crypto terror fundraising. 

Warren’s sole citation for her letter came from a Wall Street Journal article on Hamas and crypto, which has since been debunked by multiple blockchain data providers, such as Elliptic and Chainlysis.

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