Home Editor's Pick Tornado Cash Legal Defense Fund Raises Over $2 Million, Bolstered by Vitalik Buterin’s Contribution

Tornado Cash Legal Defense Fund Raises Over $2 Million, Bolstered by Vitalik Buterin’s Contribution

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TLDR

Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum co-founder, donated 30 ETH (approximately $113,000) to the legal defense fund for Tornado Cash developers Alexey Pertsev and Roman Storm.
Pertsev was recently sentenced to 64 months in prison by a Dutch court for money laundering charges related to his involvement with Tornado Cash, while Storm faces similar charges in the United States.
The legal defense fund, hosted on the decentralized fundraising platform Juicebox, has raised a total of 591 ETH (around $2.2 million) as of press time.
Buterin has been a vocal supporter of privacy-centric cryptocurrency tools and has consistently advocated for the development of solutions that enhance privacy on Ethereum.

Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, has once again demonstrated his support for the embattled developers of Tornado Cash, a crypto privacy tool that has come under intense scrutiny from law enforcement agencies.

Buterin recently donated 30 ETH, worth approximately $113,000, to the legal defense fund for Alexey Pertsev and Roman Storm, the developers facing charges related to their involvement with the controversial crypto mixer.

Pertsev, who was arrested in the Netherlands last year, was recently sentenced to 64 months in prison by a Dutch court for money laundering charges.

The court found him guilty of facilitating the laundering of approximately $1.2 billion through Tornado Cash between July 2019 and August 2022. Pertsev has since appealed the judgment at the s-Hertogenbosch Court of Appeal in the Netherlands.

Meanwhile, Storm has been detained in the United States since 2023 and is awaiting trial, which is scheduled for September.

Both developers have been accused of violating Anti-Money Laundering (AML) rules through their association with Tornado Cash, a tool designed to allow users to send crypto transactions anonymously.

Buterin’s donation to the “Free Pertsev and Storm” defense fund, hosted on the decentralized fundraising platform Juicebox, is a clear indication of his unwavering support for the developers and his belief in the importance of privacy in the cryptocurrency space.

The fund has raised a total of 591 ETH, worth around $2.2 million, as of press time, demonstrating the strong backing the developers have received from the crypto community.

The Ethereum co-founder has long been a vocal advocate for crypto privacy and the development of tools that enable users to manage their assets privately.

He has published numerous papers and suggestions on enhancing privacy on Ethereum, making his support for the Tornado Cash developers unsurprising.

The legal battle surrounding Tornado Cash has sparked a broader conversation about the role of privacy in the crypto ecosystem and the extent to which developers should be held responsible for the use of their software.

The U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned the use of Tornado Cash in August 2022, arguing that criminals often exploit the tool to launder hacked or stolen funds.

The crypto community has pushed back against the crackdown on privacy tools, arguing that arresting software developers for merely writing code and treating them as equivalent to terrorists is unjustified.

Several blockchain advocacy groups have filed amicus curiae briefs to defend Storm against criminal charges in the U.S., while lawmakers like Senators Cynthia Lummis and Ron Wyden have challenged the Department of Justice’s attempt to expand the definition of money-transmitting businesses to include non-custodial crypto asset software services like Tornado Cash

The post Tornado Cash Legal Defense Fund Raises Over $2 Million, Bolstered by Vitalik Buterin’s Contribution appeared first on Blockonomi.

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