Those are the regions lawyers have told us are subject to regional sanctions. That is, they apply to even everyday citizens. As we reported previously:
If the IP address of your browser session indicates you are located in a sanctioned region, we will prevent you from transacting with our wallet.
It's unlikely there are many stackers in these regions, but as we continue working on understanding the laws we are obligated to follow, we will provide you with as many services as we are legally allowed. In the coming weeks, we will begin introducing noncustodial wallet options among other things.

Zero privacy implications

We remain committed to never storing a stacker's IP address without permission. For these changes (when they go live), we simply check an IP against a database of IP ranges thought to belong to these regions and then discard the IP and the result of the query regardless of whether the IP is in one of these regions or not. Further, the IP range database is self-hosted so that your IP can't be stored by anyone else either.
All of this compliance stuff is free and open source like everything else so you can be reasonably certain we are only doing what we say we are.
We are actively working on non-custodial (and 3rd party) wallet connections. Our WIP plans are to introduce these as part of a hybrid custodial wallet, then introduce more 3rd party connections, including 3rd party custodians, gradually tapering SN away from being a custodian.
These plans are WIP obviously - like everything - but we're looking forward to participating in the wallet ecosystem (finally) and offering as many possible wallet options as we can.
Thank you for the transparency @k00b.
At the very least I hope it helps anyone else building a lightning app.
deleted by author
417 sats \ 0 replies \ @ek 5 Jan
Looking forward to more self-custody options in SN though.
You mean like Mutiny via NWC via Bitcoin Connect? :)
That's a very good point.
Why are you geofencing Ukraine rather than Russia?
Because that's what a lawyer told me to do which is what ofac likely stipulates. Technically it's supposed to be specific regions of Ukraine:
Crimea, Donetsk, and Luhansk
But I don't have that kind of accuracy with the IP range database I'm using.
And you're not geofencing Russia?
I'm geofencing who lawyers tell me to geofence and they did not tell me to geofence Russia. If it wouldn't jeopardize SN's existence, I wouldn't geofence anyone. It's crude, ineffective, and SN is a fucking toy.
Anyone with a bit of courage and common sense would do the obvious thing: geofence Russia instead of Ukraine.
You doing the opposite is disgusting cowardness.
Re: "there are unlikely to be many stackers in these regions", I've given multiple well attended talks in Ukraine, including two during the full scale invasion. One of the well known researchers on Lightning and mempools is living in Kyiv right now, among others.
1222 sats \ 0 replies \ @k00b OP 4 Jan
You're right. This is disgusting cowardliness. Even if I'm not making this decision to protect myself, I am a disgusting coward.
I don't follow the war. I don't have anything against any normal person in any of these regions. I'm Persian and these geofences block most of my family from using SN.
I hope this is remedied by going non-custodial, or SN relocating outside of the US, but I don't fucking know to be honest.
Are you sure IP-based geofencing would hold up in court as sufficient compliance with sanctions? VPNs defeat this so trivially, and I'm sure prosecutors know that.
From my observations, if push comes to shove, and case comes to court, companies are usually forced to one of:
  • Implement KYC
  • Move jurisdiction
  • Shut down
All of which suck.
Compliance is about risk reduction not perfection. No one always goes exactly the speed limit.
As the post mentions, we plan to remove the custodial wallet.