August 08, 2022
US government amps up inevitable clash with crypto privacy in tornado cash blacklisting
Journalist Nick Baker
When the U.S. Treasury Department blacklisted Tornado Cash on Monday, banning all Americans from using the service, regulators dramatically escalated that battle as they seek to squash the free-wheeling (if imperfect) anonymity of crypto. The U.S. said Tornado Cash has been used to launder more than $7 billion. That includes $455 million stolen by Lazarus Group, the North Korean hacking group, and at least $7.8 million from this month’s Nomad exploit.
"The crypto space talks about wanting to go mainstream and be a new financial system," said Yaya Fanusie, an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security who also consults on crypto money-laundering safeguards and is a former CIA analyst. "If you want to play in the big leagues, you're going to have to play with big regulation. Mixers are by themselves not illegal nor illicit. What's illicit is how a tool is used."
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