U.S. Attack On Crypto Mixers Threatens Collateral Damage To Privacy
Aggressive U.S. moves to inhibit cryptocurrency mixing services employed by North Korean state-sponsored hackers are raising howls of opposition at home. The crypto community contends Washington is overreaching, preventing legitimate users from protecting their privacy and stifling software developers. On Monday, the U.S. Treasury forbade Americans to have any dealings with crypto mixer Tornado.cash, an Ethereum-blockchain platform that attempts to obscure the source of digital assets by pooling users’ funds and then allowing them to withdraw a randomized selection equal to their deposit. The Treasury stated that Tornado.cash facilitated the laundering of $455 million worth of digital assets stolen by Lazarus Group, North Korea’s state-sponsored hacking organization. The sanctions follow a similar action from May against Blender.io, a crypto mixer accused of facilitating the laundering of $20.5 million worth of funds stolen in the March $620 million Ronin Bridge hack, the largest crypto hack to-date, executed by Lazarus Group, according to the U.S. FBI.