Crypto community split on mixer sanctions

Recent U.S. sanctions against cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash have sparked a debate within the crypto community on whether the ban compromises users’ ability to operate anonymously.


Earlier this week, the Treasury Department imposed sanctions against Tornado Cash for helping hackers launder over $7 billion worth of virtual currency. The agency said the mixer service allowed cybercriminal groups, including North Korean-backed hackers, to use its platform to launder the proceeds of cybercrimes.

  • The Treasury’s decision has the crypto community split — proponents of the service argue that the sanctions violate their right to privacy, while critics say the ban is a way to discourage criminals from using the platform to hide and launder illicit funds.
  • “In an effort to punish hackers and cybercriminals, Treasury just made a clumsy attempt to sanction Tornado Cash, an open source protocol,” wrote Lia Holland, the campaigns and communications director at Fight for the Future, a digital rights advocacy group.

Cryptocurrency mixers like Tornado Cash have become popular in recent years as crypto investors turned to the service to make their transactions anonymous and harder to trace by mixing their funds with others on the blockchain.