- The Dutch authorities have recently arrested the developer of Tornado Cash, Alexey Pertsev.
- In response, decentralized finance (DeFi) aggregator 1inch, is organizing a rally to show support and protest the arrest.
The US Treasury Department recently launched an attack on crypto mixing platform, Tornado Cash, for its role in money laundering. Also, the Department barred American citizens from accessing the platform. As part of an investigation into the case, a 29-year-old man suspected to have laundered money through Tornado Cash was arrested by Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD). Interestingly, it was speculated that the arrested man was the developer of Tornado Cash, Alexey Pertsev.
According to reports, Ksenia Malik who confirmed that Pertsev is her husband disclosed that he is still in the hands of authorities who claimed to be investigating “suspicions of fraud, environmental crime, and asset confiscation.”
This arrest has been criticized by several developers including the team behind decentralized finance (DeFi) aggregator 1inch. As part of its effort to protest the decision, fight for the right of developers to create open source software, and show support for Pertsev, 1inch has organized a rally in Amsterdam. According to reports, the rally is expected to take off on August 20, 2022.
1/ Is it really a crime to be an open-source #blockchain developer nowadays ⁉️
Stand up for the right to build open-source software!
🛡 Help Alex Pertsev get out of jail!
Why is it important⤵️ pic.twitter.com/CqqD4Ds8AQ
— 1inch Network (@1inch) August 18, 2022
Venture capitalist supports the arrest of the developer of Tornado Cash
In an interview with reporters, Malik discloses that authorities have completely barred her from getting in contact with Pertsev. “Not even a short call,” she said.
It is very unexpected for me that a person can be arrested for writing open source code.
She further expressed her gratitude to everyone including 1inch for showing support for her husband. She also hopes that the rally would cause positive public opinion on open source code and also bring Pertsev’s injustice to attention.
We want to achieve publicity so that as many people as possible know about the arrest and the reasons for its wrongness. This is a serious issue, as every open source developer and many other people can be affected by this accusation.
His arrest has, however, been supported by some other people including venture capitalist Kevin O’Leary. According to him, the decision by authorities is a very necessary one as it could bring stability to the institutional capital. He also believes that crypto privacy tools “mess with the primal forces of regulation.”
The United States Treasury Department has put several Tornado Cash addresses on the sanction list of the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC). American citizens who use the tool face between 10 to 30 years of imprisonment and a fine of $50,000 to $10,000,000. The US Treasury has announced that criminals have used the service to launder over $7 billion in cryptos since 2019.
Following the announcement, the USDC stablecoin issuer, Circle, has frozen over 75,000 USDC connected to the 44 addresses of Tornado Cash.