Wednesday, October 5, 2022

GitHub Relist Tornado Cash After U.S Treasury Sanction

Tornado Cash, a cryptocurrency mixer that was reprimanded for its involvement in money laundering, is back on GitHub.

Invariably, code repositories for Tornado Cash were relisted on the internet hosting platform GitHub. Following the sanction by the U.S Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), GitHub immediately delisted Tornado Cash from its site.

This was done alongside many other firms in compliance with the U.S regulator’s order. GitHub also removed the accounts of three developers who were recognized as code contributors to the Tornado Cash program. 

Tornado cash is a crypto mixer used to obfuscate the true source of funds and digital assets.

It has been under the radar of the U.S treasury department since it was indicted and blacklisted for its connection with money laundering. According to the U.S OFAC, Tornado Cash was accused of aiding criminal elements to launder billions of dollars in virtual assets up to the tune of $7 billion.      

After that, Tornado Cash developer Alexey Pertsev was arrested in connection with the crime.

Following a series of probes and examinations, it was later discovered that this developer had ties with the Russian security department FSB.  As a consequence of its criminal involvement in money laundering, the U.S regulator insisted that the Ethereum (ETH)-based crypto mixer be removed from the site of every firm that had it listed.

U.S Treasury Sanction Provokes Delisting Action

A few hours after the decree was made GitHub delisted the crypto mixer in compliance. Likewise, leading decentralized exchange dYdX blocked user accounts of individuals who had interacted with Tornado Cash. GitHub received several calls even from ETH core developer Preston Van Loon, to unban Tornado Cash’s code repositories on its site. 

Based on Preston’s and other Eth developers’ argument, “code is speech and free speech is a constitutional right worth protecting.” Today, the Tornado Cash code repositories have been uploaded back to the GitHub site. 

“GitHub’s vision is to be the global platform for developer collaboration. We examine government sanctions thoroughly to be certain that users and customers are not impacted beyond what is required by law, and advocate to protect collaboration on open source code worldwide. We welcome recent government clarification regarding publicly available source code and sanctioned entities, and have restored certain public repositories,” a GitHub spokesperson said.

Victoria Nye
A Blockchain columnist who is enthusiastic about developing a network interface between the real world and the cryptosphere.

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