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Tornado Cash in Hot Water with the Treasury Department

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Pavan A Follow

INDIA

Aug, 10 2022

Aug, 10 2022

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On Monday, the United States Treasury Department banned Americans from using Tornado Cash, a popular cryptocurrency mixer that the government claims "launders proceeds of cybercrime." 

 
Several Tornado Cash and Ethereum wallet addresses have been designated as Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs) by the Treasury Department, which means their assets are blocked and U.S. citizens are not able to deal with them. 
 
Any person or entity who violates the Specially Designated Nationals list can be penalized by the U.S. For the offense, anyone can face prison time and a fine of $90,000 to $308,000. 
 
In Tornado Cash, large numbers of Ethereum transactions are pooled together and mixed in a way that makes them invisible on the blockchain, which makes them more private. 
 
The mixer's services have been used by the most prolific cyber criminals, according to Brian E. Nelson, U.S. Undersecretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. 
 
“Today, Treasury is sanctioning Tornado Cash, a virtual currency mixer that launders the proceeds of cybercrimes, including those committed against victims in the United States.” 
 
He added, “Despite public assurances otherwise, Tornado Cash has repeatedly failed to impose effective controls designed to stop it from laundering funds for malicious cyber actors on a regular basis and without basic measures to address its risks.” 
 
In the past, the U.S. government has warned against crypto mixers because they facilitate illegal activities. An interesting aspect of the new sanction is that Tornado Cash has a significant amount of value flowing through it without being associated with any illicit activities. With the mixer on the sanctions list, U.S. citizens need to ensure they do not engage in crypto transactions through the service. 
 
 

 


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Pavan A

CBW - External Analyst

INDIA

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