What’s the story around Tornado Cash? The U.S. Department of the Treasury made its case in a press release, but the question still lingers. Because, as many people have pointed out, Tornado Cash is not an institution. It’s a smart contract in the Ethereum blockchain and, according to US law, code is supposed to be speech. Are they challenging that? To make things even more suspicious, the Netherlands arrested an alleged Tornado Cash developer.
What is going on here? Was that man arrested just for writing code? How’s that possible? He didn’t launder that money himself… or did he? According to FIOD, the developer “is suspected of involvement in concealing criminal financial flows and facilitating money laundering through the mixing of cryptocurrencies through the decentralised Ethereum mixing service Tornado Cash.”
That could mean a number of things. Is there more to this story? Is the developer guilty of other crimes besides writing code? Or did the world’s authorities start an all-out war on privacy while we weren’t looking? Very few people are able to answer those questions at the moment. What we can do, though, is consult with the Twitterati and see what the general sentiment out there is.
Privacy Is A Human Right
- Stani Kulechov, the Aave Protocol CEO, schooled regulators about the justified and legal use of privacy tools. “This arrest makes all privacy/encryption developers a target. The worst part is people use privacy tools on a daily basis online, because the internet is an unsafe place without privacy or encryption.”
- Bankless’ Ryan Sean Adams broke it down to the essential. “They put a man in jail because bad people used his open source code. This cannot stand in any free society”
- Shape Shift’s Erik Voorhees commented on the absurdity of the situation. “TC is not a person, nor a business entity. It’s an open source software tool. It cannot be sanctioned, it does not respond to subpoena or legal request.”
The headline: "Treasury Sanctions Tornado Cash"
Reality: TC is not a person, nor a business entity. It's an open source software tool. It cannot be sanctioned, it does not respond to subpoena or legal request.
***It is privacy-seeking Americans who have been sanctioned.***
— Erik Voorhees (@ErikVoorhees) August 8, 2022
- Matt Corallo, the bitcoin core contributor who suspiciously went after bitcoin maxis recently, shared a call to action. “This is completely and totally unacceptable and needs to be fought in court, in lobbies in Brussels, and ultimately in ads for voters.”
- Controversial analyst and trader PlanB spoke for The Netherlands. “Dutch IRS doing dirty job for the US. Arresting an open source developer because “criminals” might have used the open source (!) software. A disgrace to my country and my hometown Amsterdam.”
- Analyst and podcast guest of the year, Lyn Alden analyzed the case and provided the historical perspective. “In the early decades of the internet, when
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