ConsenSys, a software company focused on Ethereum, announced it collects the IP addresses and wallet addresses of MetaMask users through the Infura blockchain infrastructure service.
Both Infura and MetaMask are owned by ConsenSys.
When users use their MetaMask wallets to make a blockchain transaction, Infura processes the transaction on the Ethereum blockchain.
Through what is referred to as a “remote call procedure service,” MetaMask connects to Infura.
Moving forward, ConsenSys said,
“When you use Infura as your default RPC provider in MetaMask, Infura will collect your IP address and your Ethereum wallet address when you send a transaction.”
ConsenSys further stated that the company would not gather such information if users accessed MetaMask through alternative RPC providers like Ankr, Alchemy, and others.
However, it made note that third-party RPC providers are free to gather such information if they so choose.
The worry is that businesses gathering both off-chain data, like IP addresses, and on-chain data, like blockchain addresses and transactions, may be able to identify people and lessen the amount of privacy available on the network.
Dan Finlay, the founder of MetaMask, however, stated on Twitter that he understands that IP addresses are not used by MetaMask even though they are being temporarily stored. In addition, he said, “I think we can get this fixed soon.”
One of the biggest players in the cryptocurrency market, ConsenSys raised $450 million in a series D round earlier this year that closed at a $7 billion valuation.