- U.S. citizens cannot use the app because of the recent sanction.
- Ethereum developers found the original code for the program was once again on GitHub.
The Tornado Cash Ethereum currency mixer has been restored to the GitHub website. Tornado Cash, which provides an anonymous means of sending and receiving Ethereum, was banned by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) last month. U.S. citizens may no longer use the app because it pools transactions to hide their true origins.
GitHub Reverses Restriction
However, today Ethereum developers found the original code for the program was once again live on the widespread platform. On Twitter, Ethereum core developer Preston Van Loon made the announcement, citing the efforts of himself and other prominent members of the cryptocurrency community to get Github to reverse its restriction on the Tornado Cash repositories. It was previously said by him that “code is speech and free speech is a constitutional right worth protecting.”
Since criminals, including the North Korean state-sponsored hacking outfit Lazarus Group, were using Tornado Cash to launder money, the Treasury Department said last month that it had declared sanction.
The U.S. government claims that since the app’s launch in 2019, more than $7 billion in illegal digital currency has been transferred via it. But this figure has been contested; research by blockchain analytics firm Elliptic claims that just $1.5 billion of the $7.6 billion that went through the app was the result of criminal behavior.
In the immediate aftermath of the blacklisting, an anonymous troll even sent Ethereum to celebrities using a Tornado Cash wallet. Government officials then said they would “not prioritise enforcement” against anyone who had received “unsolicited and nominal” quantities of the compromised cryptocurrency.
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