Crypto 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 are currently blocking remote procedure call (RPC) requests to Tornado Cash, according to 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.
By blocking RPC requests, 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 users on Twitter.
While neither Infura nor Alchemy has responded to The Block’s request for comments, the RPC request blockade is likely tied to Tornado Cash’s recent troubles. 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.