One of the standout crypto events of 2022 was the US Treasury Department sanction over the Tornado Cash website in August. The agency claimed Tornado Cash has been used by various hackers to launder money through cryptocurrency. The blacklisting was rolled out, barring US companies and citizens from interacting with this crypto firm.
Many crypto platforms, fearing legal implications, have blocked addresses and wallets that used to interact with Tornado Cash, sparking controversy over the decentralization. An argument has also raged over the sanction since according to the crypto advocate, Tornado Cash itself is not at fault as its technology is open to everyone.
Therefore, in early September, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in US, Coinbase, announced that it would file a lawsuit against the Treasury Department for blacklisting Tornado Cash.
Accordingly, in the evening of October 12, Coin Center, a DC-based non-profit organization focusing on the policy issues facing cryptocurrencies, is the latest to suit against the US Department of Treasury.
In the lawsuit, naming Finance Secretary Janet Yellen, Coin Center representative wrote:
“The Treasury exceeded their statutory authority because Tornado Cash is used to complete functions that do not include ‘any property in which any foreign country or a national thereof has any interest.
Americans use Tornado Cash unilaterally to protect their own property. Defiance of this statutory element assumes an authority that would give them virtually unlimited control to regulate the American economy.
If a user doesn’t take proactive steps to protect his privacy, the ledger’s transparency allows strangers to track his private associations and stalk his intimate relations. It invites publicization of and retaliation for his private contributions to unpopular causes. And it allows anyone to see whether he has a lot of assets, which would put a target on his back.”
After the US decision to ban Tornado Cash, the Dutch authorities arrested a programmer of the project living in the Netherlands and detained him for the past 3 months without making specific charges.
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