Users seeking to access Spark Protocol through a virtual private network will not be able to do so, drawing criticism from supporters of privacy.
MakerDAO, one of the early decentralized finance pioneers, has come under criticism for blocking VPN users from accessing its newly launched lending platform, Spark Protocol.
The Spark Protocol website currently displays an error message that reads, “Accessing this website via VPN is not allowed.”
The step appears to be tied to Maker’s attempt to prevent US customers from accessing the crypto lending platform, as noted in a May 9 update to Spark Protocol’s terms of service, which warns against using VPNs to circumvent the block.
In an Aug. 6 tweet, DeFi analyst Chris Blec said he was “disgusted” by the decision, pointing out that it effectively operates as a blanket ban on VPNs worldwide, not just in the United States.
“Blocking US residents is different. It’s quite another to ban anyone using a VPN for privacy anywhere in the world, according to Blec, who added that this amounts to an “actual war on privacy.”
— Chris Blec (@ChrisBlec) August 6, 2023
Blec, a self-proclaimed decentralization and privacy enthusiast, also took aim at MakerDAO’s creator Rune Christensen and the firm’s other developers in a response tweet, claiming that they had placed profits before user privacy:
“The root of the problem here is that these developers are putting profit over principle. They’re putting their bank account balance ahead of your privacy and your rights.”
The Spark Protocol, introduced in May, purports to give users up to 8% in yearly profits by lending DAI. The lending platform was developed by Phoenix Labs, a blockchain research and development company established by the Maker Foundation, as a soft fork of Aave v3.
According to reports, Spark Protocol uses TRM’s blockchain intelligence services to ban wallets from Spark Protocol that participate in illegal activities.