Crypto Community Responds To Tornado Cash Sanctions, Privacy Advocates Say “There Are Many Legitimate Reasons To Seek Financial Anonymity” Cryptocurrency

The US government banning the Ethereum mixing service Tornado Cash and subsequent enforcement caused an uproar in the crypto community over the event. A slew of crypto and privacy advocates have spoken out against the government’s actions so far, and nonprofit advocacy group Fight for the Future calls the ban a “threat to the future of financial privacy”.

Advocacy Group Fight for the Future Says US Government Threatens Financial Privacy – ‘There Are Many Legitimate Reasons to Seek Anonymity in Financial Transactions’

On August 8, 2022, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned virtual currency mixer Tornado Cash. The US government claims the app has been used to “launder more than $7 billion worth of virtual currency since its inception in 2019”. Following the ban, Github contributors were suspended from the software repository platform and on August 12, the Tornado Cash Discord server was suspended. deleted.

On the same day, Dutch law enforcement revealed that the Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) had arrested an unidentified 29-year-old accused of developing Tornado Cash. A report from Yogita Khatri of The Block Crypto says the unknown developer is Alexey Pertsev, according to his wife’s statements after the arrest. “My husband did nothing illegal,” the suspect’s wife told the reporter on Friday. Meanwhile, the entire crypto community and privacy advocates are upset with the actions of the US government.

“Welcome to the War on Code,” podcast host Cobie said Friday.

The nonprofit advocacy group Fight for the Future released a statement on the US government’s actions against Tornado Cash. “Already, the internet is feeling the chilling effects of this choice: the open source code used to run has been removed from Github. And unfortunately, it seems that such an effect is exactly what the US government was looking for,” explains the Fight for the Future blog post on the subject. Fight for the Future adds:

Anonymity is not a crime and there are many legitimate reasons to seek anonymity in financial transactions. Privacy tools are important, for example, for activists in authoritarian states where disclosing financial information could lead to someone’s imprisonment or execution.

“Same war, different battle”

Crypto developer and co-founder of Aragon Luis Cuende said“I’m at a loss for words. I’m out of breath. They detained him for writing code. Write code. These terrorist organizations called traditional nations must be dismantled. The Tornado Cash conversation has touched a nerve with almost every vocal member of the crypto community. “Let’s remember that cross-border export/use of encryption itself was illegal in the US until 1996,” said Shapeshift founder Erik Voorhees. said. “Same war, different battle,” he added.

Others mocked the US government for banning Tornado Cash, as many financial giants have been accused of aiding money launderers, but no bank CEOs have been arrested. “Fortunately, I have never used Tornado Cash to launder money,” said one Twitter user. noticed jokingly. “I use Deutsche Bank like a normal person,” the individual added.

Lawyer Jake Chervinsky told supporters that everyone should “closely monitor the situation in Amsterdam, where a Tornado Cash developer has been detained. It is unclear if there are any allegations of unlawful conduct unrelated to writing code. Otherwise, this threatens to be the start of Crypto Wars II,” Chervinsky wrote.

Larry Cermak asks, “Why is only Tornado Cash affected?”

Over the past 24 hours, the subject of Tornado Cash has been the subject of very topical conversation on social media. “The Tornado Cash developer arrested by the FIOD of the Netherlands is concerning,” said podcast host Stephan Livera wrote Friday. “Imagine if road builders were arrested ‘because criminals are using them?’ Or curtain fitters at home? Wanting privacy should not be considered a crime.

Block Crypto VP of Research Larry Cermak wondered why other crypto privacy techniques have not been targeted by the US government. “I think an interesting question to ask now is why is only Tornado Cash affected and other privacy projects like Coinjoin, Monero and even Zcash still doing well?” Cermac tweeted. “Is it just because Tornado was used most recently or are there other factors that play a role here? Just weird. The crypto researcher added:

However, the ability to write open source code and [the] the average user having privacy is one of the most important tenets of cryptography. We must do everything we can to protect developers who put their security at risk.

Fight for the Future explains that people who don’t want their financial history “monitored by governments, corporations, stalkers or other malicious actors is a legitimate reason to seek out privacy technologies online. “. The advocacy group’s blog post ends by stating:

We demand that the Treasury focus more carefully on targeting bad actors – rather than trying to criminalize building and using privacy tools or simply writing or running open source software code. .

Keywords in this story

Alexey Pertsev, Anonymity, co-founder of Aragon, cobie, Discord Server, Dutch Law Enforcement, encryption, Erik Voorhees, Fight for the Future, financial privacy, FIOD, github, Github Repo, Jake Chervinsky, Larry Cermak, Luis Cuende, OFAC, OFAC Sanctions, Podcast Host, Privacy, Founder of Shapeshift, Stephan Livera, Tornado cash, Treasury, Treasury Department, US Government, Yogita Khatri

What do you think of the community’s response to the recent Tornado Cash sanctions and crackdown on developers and tools? Let us know what you think about this topic in the comments section below.

Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is the News Manager at News and a fintech reporter living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He is passionate about Bitcoin, open-source code, and decentralized applications. Since September 2015, Redman has written over 5,700 articles for News about disruptive protocols emerging today.

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