Infura and Alchemy are now blocking access to Tornado Cash

Quick Take

  • Infura and Alchemy are blocking Ethereum API access for Tornado Cash users.
  • Both platforms are centralized API and node infrastructure providers in the crypto space.
 

Crypto application programming interface (API) and node infrastructure providers Infura and Alchemy are the latest centralized entities in the cryptocurrency space to blacklist the US Treasury-sanctioned crypto mixer Tornado Cash.

Both platforms have currently disabled access to their Ethereum API on the Tornado Cash front-end user interface, according to Twitter user 0xdev0. Infura and Alchemy are among a number of RPC providers popular among crypto users.

By blocking API access, Tornado Cash users who are using Alchemy or Infura endpoints are not able to se 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 users on Twitter.

"Tornado.Cash was up until yesterday an Infura client. Our understanding is that they used Infura to support Ethereum calls made by their front-end user interface. After the action of OFAC yesterday adding Tornado.Cash to the specially designated entity list, and because ConsenSys is a US-based company, we were required to terminate those accounts and sever our relationship with Tornado.Cash," Bill Hughes, senior counsel and director of global regulatory matters at ConsenSys, the company that owns Infura, told The Block.

The US Treasury on Monday sanctioned the crypto mixer by adding several of its wallet addresses to its sanctions list. Since then, 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 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.

This article has been updated with a correction stating that API and not RPC access has been blocked as well comments by ConsenSys explaining its decision to sever ties with Tornado Cash.

© 2022 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.