Crypto Mixing Service Caught Up in Storm of Controversy

Earlier this year, Roman Semenov, co-founder Tornado Cash, a mixing service for cryptocurrencies, said that it would be “technically impossible” for sanctions to be enforced against decentralized protocols. “All we do is write code and publish it on GitHub,” Semenov told Bloomberg, referring to the internet hosting service. “This is pretty close to the definition of free speech so writing code cannot be illegal.” Tornado Cash has been hit by some ill winds since then, with the recent arrest of a developer and accusations involving money laundering that includes one group with alleged ties to North Korea. “Want to put a target on your back?” David Lesperance, managing partner of immigration and tax adviser at Lesperance & Associates, said. “Then boast about crypto firm’s ability to evade US government sanctions or the IRS.” Last week, Dutch authorities said they had arrested a 29-year-old Amsterdam man believed to be a developer for Tornado Cash. The Netherlands’ Fiscal Information and Investigation Service said in a statement that the man is “suspected of involvement in concealing criminal financial flows and facilitating money laundering through” Tornado Cash.

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