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Here's How Crypto Twitter Reacts to Attack on Tornado Cash

Sat, 08/13/2022 - 13:48
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Vladislav Sopov
Netherlands Crime Agency (FIOD) arrested developer of Tornado Cash mixer after project was sanctioned by OFAC; Crypto Twitter has something to say
Here's How Crypto Twitter Reacts to Attack on Tornado Cash
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Last week, the U.S. watchdog OFAC put the addresses of Tornado Cash, world's most popular transactions obfuscating service, to the sanctions list. Dutch police arrested its core dev Alexey Pertsev with more repressions yet to come. The global crypto community is enraged by the attack and is discussing its influence on the future of blockchain and Web3.

Crypto Twitter mocks absurdity of another anti-crypto witch hunt

Largely, prominent crypto enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, analysts, researchers and traders are shocked by the absurdity of attacks on Tornado Cash. Many of them — including Stefan George, co-founder and CTO of Gnosis — are recalling the attempts by U.S. to ban one of the key elements of PGP encryption. In 1990s, the United States Customs Service started a criminal investigation of Phil Zimmermann, as part of his code was regarded munitions subject to arms trafficking export controls.

DeFi researcher, advocate and educationist Chris Blec compared the sanctions against Tornado Cash to penalizing gun manufacturers for their clients' illegal activity:

Also, the crypto community is angered by the fact that every individual that somehow interacted with Tornado Cash can also be considered "sanctioned":

Law-abiding DeFis are under fire

Some services that already "imposed" sanctions on Tornado Cash are criticized by privacy advocates. By printing time, Tornado Cash clients are banned from using Aave Finance (AAVE) and dYdX (DYDX) frontends; the accounts of the project and its developers are suspended by GitHub, while the main Discord server of Tornado Cash is also down.

Besides that, Circle has frozen some USDC coins somehow associated with Tornado Cash; the calls to Tornado Cash are censored by the Alchemy and Infura node providers and its domain is shut down by the decentralized hosting service Limo.

Crypto investor Ryan Sean Adams bashed the services that are blocking Tornado Cash addresses and advised them to "grow some backbone":

However, some crypto experts just recommend using the DeFi codebase with custom-made frontends since all major Ethereum-centric protocols are open-sourced:

Resistance in Web3: Enthusiasts spread word about Tornado Cash

To inject new life into "Munitions" T-shirts popularized by a Bitcoin (BTC) veteran Adam Back, enthusiasts have already produced "Tornado Cash" garments with printed versions of its codebase.

Another enthusiast turned the Tornado Cash codebase into a piece of digital art: 

Seasoned blockchain security researcher and ConsenSys Diligence co-founder Gonçalo Sá released a Tornado Cash factory that partially refunds the deployment costs for every Web3 enthusiast who deploys the latest version of its codebase:

Last but not least, more conservative Tornado Cash advocates are attempting to find a lawyer for its team to create a defensive strategy.

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About the author

Blockchain Analyst & Writer with scientific background. 6+ years in IT-analytics, 3+ years in blockchain.

Worked in independent analysis as well as in start-ups (, Monoreto, Attic Lab etc.)