Netherlands Authorities Nab Developer Of Controversial Tornado Cash

Updated:

On Aug. 10, the Netherlands Crime Agency (FIOD) arrested a 29-year-old developer believed to be the founder of Tornado Cash, which the US Treasury recently blacklisted. The developer is believed to have been sponsoring illicit financial flows, money laundering, and mixing cryptocurrency through a decentralized Ethereum-based mixing service Tornado Cash.

The FIOD stated in an official release: “Today the suspect is brought before the examining judge,” adding that “multiple arrests are not ruled out.” The agency also noted that the goal of the arrest was to clamp down on crypto mixers, who have turned the act of swindling unsuspecting victims into a business. Mixer platforms reportedly offer privacy benefits on crypto transactions by increasing the anonymity of these transactions.

Tornado Cash Has Laundered $7 Billion For Bad Actors: US Treasury Officials

Cybercriminals have adopted the services of such platforms to launder money. Treasury officials noted earlier this week that bad actors have used Tornado Cash to siphon over $7 billion in stolen digital assets through hack groups believed to have associations with North Korea. Brian Nelson, Treasury Department undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement on Monday:

“Despite public assurances otherwise, Tornado Cash has repeatedly failed to impose effective controls designed to stop it from laundering funds for malicious cyber actors on a regular basis and without basic measures to address its risks.”

Treasury officials also noted that of this $7 billion laundered through Tornado Cash, $104 million in digital assets came from two separate hacks on crypto “bridge” services Harmony and Nomad in June and August, respectively. Crypto bridges allow users to transfer funds between different blockchains and have become more targeted by hackers in recent months, according to cybersecurity experts.

However, the recent sanctioning by the Treasury Department has been met with some stern criticisms, with some arguing that this could set a trend of stifling technology.

 

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Azeez Mustapha

Azeez Mustapha is a trading professional, currency analyst, signals strategist, and funds manager with over ten years of experience within the financial field. As a blogger and finance author, he helps investors understand complex financial concepts, improve their investing skills, and learn how to manage their money.