Many crypto and privacy advocates have spoken out against the U.S. government’s actions, and the advocacy group “Fight for the Future” describes the ban as “threat to the future of financial privacy.“
Fight for the Future advocacy group says U.S. government threatens financial privacy – “There are many legitimate reasons to seek anonymity in financial transactions“.
On August 8, 2022, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned the virtual currency blender Tornado Cash. The U.S. government claims that the app was allegedly used to “launder more than $7 billion in virtual currency since its inception in 2019.“As a result of the ban, Github contributors were suspended from the platform, and on August 12, the Tornado Cash Discord server was deleted.
We can add @discord to the shame list too since apparently they decided to go *far* above and beyond and ban the community run/operated discord server. God forbid people even *discuss* the thing that was unjustly sanctioned…
– Micah Zoltu (@MicahZoltu) August 12, 2022
On the same day, Dutch law enforcement revealed that the Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) has arrested an unidentified 29-year-old who is accused of developing Tornado Cash. Meanwhile, the entire crypto community and privacy advocates are unhappy with the actions of the U.S. government.
“Welcome to the code war“, podcast host Cobie said. Friday.
Welcome to the war on code
– Cobie (@cobie) August 12, 2022
The nonprofit advocacy group Fight for the Future has released a statement on the U.S. government’s actions against Tornado Cash. “Already, the Internet is feeling the chilling effects of this choice: the open source code used to run Tornado.cash has been removed from Github. And unfortunately it seems that such an effect is exactly what the US government was looking for“, said the Fight for the Future team. 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 revealing financial information can lead to imprisonment or execution.
Same War, Different Fight
Crypto-currency developer and co-founder of Aragon Luis Cuende told: “I am out of words. I’m out of breath. They held him for writing code. Code writing. These terrorist organizations called traditional nations must be dismantled.“The conversation about Tornado Cash struck a chord with almost everyone in the crypto community. “Recall that the cross-border export/use of encryption itself was illegal in the United States until 1996“, said Erik Voorhees, founder of Shapeshift. said.. “Same war, different battle“, he added.
An awful lot of projects seem to be going way above and beyond the *actual* requirements of the sanctions.
– nick.eth (@nicksdjohnson) August 11, 2022
Others mocked the U.S. government for banning Tornado Cash when many financial giants have been accused of aiding money launderers, but no bank CEO has been arrested. “Fortunately, I never used Tornado Cash to launder money.”said one Twitter user, noted jokingly. “I use Deutsche Bank like a normal person“, the individual added.
Thankfully I have never used tornado cash to launder money
I use deutsche bank like a normal person
– foobar (@0xfoobar) August 10, 2022
Attorney Jake Chervinsky told his followers that everyone should “closely monitor the situation in Amsterdam, where a Tornado Cash developer has been taken into custody. It’s not clear if there are allegations of illegal conduct unrelated to writing code. If not, this could be the start of Crypto Wars II“, said Jake Chervinsky.
We should all be closely watching the situation in Amsterdam, where a Tornado Cash developer has been detained.
It’s unclear if there are allegations of illicit conduct unrelated to writing code.
If not, this threatens to be the start of Crypto Wars II.https://t.co/1rAhMae4gR
– Jake Chervinsky (@jchervinsky) August 12, 2022
Larry Cermak asks: “Why is only the Tornado’s money affected?“.
In the last 24 hours, the topic Tornado Cash has been the subject of a significant series of comments on social networks. “The arrest of a Tornado Cash developer by the Dutch FIOD is disturbing news“said the host of the podcast Stephan Livera. “Imagine if road builders were arrested ‘because criminals use them’? Or the installers of domestic curtains? Wanting privacy should not be considered a crime. “
They arrested the developer of tornado cash. 🚨
I repeat: a man was arrested for writing code that served as a public good for people to maintain their privacy online.
They put a man in jail because bad people used his open source code.
This cannot stand in any free society.
– RYAN SΞAN ADAMS – rsa.eth 🦇🔊 (@RyanSAdams) August 12, 2022
Fight for the Future explains that people who do not want their financial history “be monitored by governments, corporations, stalkers, or other bad actors is a legitimate reason to seek out online privacy-preserving technologies.“The advocacy group concludes by stating:
We ask that Treasury focus more on targeting bad actors – rather than trying to criminalize the creation and use of privacy tools or the simple act of writing or running open source software code.