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Crypto ‘Mixer’ Tornado Cash Is Blacklisted by the Treasury Department

  • August 08, 2022

Platforms like Tornado Cash are designed to make that kind of tracking harder. These crypto “mixers” receive multiple streams of transactions, then combine them to obscure the origin and destination of the funds. According to the Treasury Department, Tornado Cash was used to launder more than $455 million in crypto stolen this year by North Korean-backed hackers called the Lazarus Group.

A message to Tornado Cash’s official Twitter account was not returned. Roman Semenov, one of the company’s three founders, did not respond to a request for comment.

Since its launch in 2019, Tornado Cash has risen to prominence largely because blockchain records show that hackers have used it to move stolen cryptocurrencies. In interviews, Mr. Semenov has defended the service, saying the software protects the privacy of legitimate crypto traders who could be targeted by kidnappers or thieves.

In a statement, the crypto advocacy group Coin Center criticized the Treasury Department’s announcement, arguing that Tornado Cash is a neutral platform “that can be put to good or bad uses like any other technology.”

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