Cryptocurrency mixing services are a divisive subject in the industry. Some advocate for the privacy-enabling features of these protocols while others maintain that they are mainly used for illicit means. For platforms like Tornado Cash, the mainstream verdict is “guilty as charged.” The infamous decentralized mixing protocol was sanctioned by the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in August 2022, essentially making it illegal for anyone to make use of the service. Tornado Cash continues to be a contentious topic and one of its developers, Alexey Pertsev, controversially remains in detention in the Netherlands while investigators look to build a case against the Russian developer and his alleged role in the mixer’s operation. In a proverbial sense, one man’s loss is another man’s gain and that seems to be the case for cryptocurrency mixers according to a report from blockchain analytics firm Elliptic. As highlighted in its analysis, Elliptic reveals that over $7 billion worth of cryptocurrencies were processed by Tornado Cash. An estimated $1.54 billion of illicit cryptocurrency was laundered through the platform, with a user base that included the likes of North Korean Lazarus Group state hackers.
Full analysis : Into the storm: The murky world of cryptocurrency mixers.