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Tornado Cash: US Bans Ethereum Mixers


  • US Adds Ethereum Mixer Tornado Cash to Sanctions List
  • This means US citizens and US companies are no longer allowed to interact with the service.
  • Similar action was taken on Blender.io.

Tornado Cash is the world’s most popular and largest Ethereum cryptocurrency. In principle, this is another smart contract that mixes the transactions of its users just like Bitcoin mixes. The result is more privacy because it allows the communication between sender and receiver to be tampered with.

This situation is often used by criminals as it often helps them to launder stolen funds. It’s a thorn in the side of the US, so today the US Treasury has imposed sanctions on the service. Like Im Case of Blender.io The entire chain of Ethereum addresses ended up on the ban list.

As a result, US citizens and businesses are no longer allowed to interact with Tornado Cash. It is unclear whether this measure can be effectively designed.

The consequences of the move are controversial

That The Finance Ministry sees it as provenHackers like the Lazarus group swindled huge sums of money with Tornado Cash. The group is said to be linked to North Korea and involved in various cyber crimes on its behalf. Including the theft of millions worth of cryptocurrencies.

Lazarus is said to have moved around US$455 million through Tornado Cash. It is not clear what sanctions are intended to achieve in concrete terms. Finally, you can set up a combination with new addresses that are not on the list. In addition, direct intervention is not possible. Instead, they tend to let their own citizens interact on stage.

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From a legal point of view, the move may be necessary to take further action against hackers and the services they use. However, in reality, this has no effect and even the symbolism is lost. Tornado Cash is designed as a DAO and is not subject to any central control. This is where the service differs from Bitcoin mixers, which usually have a more or less committed operator. Chances are good that these steps will work simply in the design of Tornado Cash.