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Coin Center to Seek Legal Redress Over Tornado Cash Sanctions

1 min
Updated by Remmy Bahati
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In Brief

  • Coin Center is heading to court over recent Tornado Cash sanctions.
  • Treasury erred by blocking sites, claims the organization.
  • Coin Center also claims the sanctions violate First Amendment rights.
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On Monday, Coin Center said the U.S. Department of Treasury went overboard when it sanctioned mixing service Tornado Cash, vowing to pursue redress over the matter. The group says it’s seeking to “engage” the Office of Foreign Assets Control and is considering a court challenge.

Treasury’s sanctions

The organization says the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control action was inappropriate and did not have to sanction the many cryptocurrency site that aren’t individuals arguing that the move creates due process concerns and implicates First Amendment rights.

“How can it be proper to add to the sanctions list not a person, or a person’s property, but instead an automated protocol not under anyone’s control?” the statement said.

Tornado Cash blacklisted

In August, OFAC blocked Tornado Cash’s site and other digital-currency sites alledgely working with its mixing service that the treasury says is being used by North Korea.

“There is potentially an entity called Tornado Cash that is controlled by certain individuals, and the web address and some of the Ethereum addresses in the notice can be thought of as either pseudonyms for that entity or, alternatively, as its property,” the statement said.

Treasury sanctions other sites

The treasury didn’t only sanction Tornado but targeted its software which was unnecessary. Coin Center argued.

“They are the addresses at which a user can find the software logic that, given the proper inputs, will execute and mix coins for users,” the statement said. That software logic is “wholly separate from the entity identified as Tornado Cash,” Coin Center argued.

It is reported that the application was installed on the Ethereum and made the controller lose control of the app.

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Remmy Bahati
Remmy Bahati, is a crypto and technology reporter. She is on Twitter @BahatiRemmy. She has a Master of Science in Journalism from Columbia University in New York City. A...