Decentralized platforms might not be as decentralized as they claim to be.
This can be seen with the decentralized exchange aggregator 1inch, which has started geofencing US IP addresses.
“It looks like you are trying to use the linch dApp from a restricted territory or are using a VPN that shows your location as a restricted territory,” reads the pop-notification on the platform when used by the people in the restricted regions.
“We respect your privacy, but, please, change your VPN settings to correspond with your real location.”
This means America has been now added to the restricted territories, which include Belarus, Burundi, Crimea and Sevastopol, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, or any other country to which the US, the UK or the European Union embargoes goods or imposes similar sanctions.
“Use of a virtual private network (e.g., a VPN) or other means by restricted persons to access or use the Interface is prohibited.”
Reportedly the terms were changed in April, but the notification was just recently added. The platform has been planning to launch a new product in the US to comply with the regulatory requirements.
1Inch Network is also in the process of collecting the Series B funding round that has grown to $175 million from the previously planned $70 million, Sergey Maslennikov, chief communications officer of the 1inch Network, told The Block.
Decentralized finance (DeFi), along with the broad crypto market, has been seeing increasing regulatory scrutiny in the US throughout this year. Popular DEX Uniswap also delisted several tokens earlier this summer as the SEC turned its attention to the sector.
Besides the US, as China strengthened its stance against crypto, imToken announced that it would restrict users in China from accessing and using its DEX, staking services including stake mining and liquidity mining, and DeFi applications such as lending and derivatives to match the regulatory policies.
As we reported, the heightened ban and the resultant shutdown of centralized crypto services in China have users turning to decentralized applications, but if they continue to ban users, they might be decentralized only in the name and claim.