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BREAKING: Ethereum-Based Mixer Tornado Cash Sanctioned by U.S. Government

Mon, 08/08/2022 - 14:21
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Alex Dovbnya
The action has prohibited U.S. investors from interacting with the controversial service
BREAKING: Ethereum-Based Mixer Tornado Cash Sanctioned by U.S. Government
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Popular Ethereum-based coin mixing service Tornado Cash has been sanctioned by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, according to a Monday announcement. A slew of associated cryptocurrency addresses have also been added to the blacklist.

The move shows that American authorities are determined to go after different parts of the crypto supply chain that are used for nefarious activities.

In May, the U.S. government sanctioned Blender, another coin mixing service, for allegedly helping North Korea launder some of the funds stolen from Axie Infinity.

Coin mixing services are used to obscure the origin of particular transactions, which makes them a hotbed for money laundering.

After gaining significant popularity, the decentralized coin mixer became a go-to tool for covering the tracks of nefarious actors. In March, one of the founders of Tornado Cash opined that it was "technically impossible" to enforce sanctions against the controversial coin mixer.

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 According to U.S. officials, more than $7 billion worth of digital assets has been laundered with the help of Tornado Cash since 2019. The mixing service was used by Lazarus Group, a North Korea-run hacking collective, for laundering hundreds of millions of dollars worth of funds pilfered from Axie Infinity, Harmony and Nomad earlier this year.

Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson claims that Tordano Cash has not prevented cyber actors with efficient controls in a statement.

In April, Tornado Cash announced that it had blocked crypto addresses sanctioned by the U.S. government from its frontend.

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About the author

Alex Dovbnya (aka AlexMorris) is a cryptocurrency expert, trader and journalist with extensive experience of covering everything related to the burgeoning industry — from price analysis to Blockchain disruption. Alex authored more than 1,000 stories for U.Today, CryptoComes and other fintech media outlets. He’s particularly interested in regulatory trends around the globe that are shaping the future of digital assets, can be contacted at alex.dovbnya@u.today.