Americans Can’t Use Tornado Cash’s Crypto Mixer, According to the US Treasury

Americans Can’t Use Tornado Cash’s Crypto Mixer, According to the US Treasury

According to the Treasury, the virtual cash mixer has been used to launder more than $7 billion since 2019.The US Treasury announced on Monday that it has sanctioned Tornado Cash, calling it “a danger to US national security.”

Tornado Cash hides the origin, destination, and parties of transactions and runs on the Ethereum blockchain. According to the Office of Foreign Assets Control at the Treasury, it has been used to launder more than $7 billion since 2019, and $455 million of that amount was taken by North Korea’s state-sponsored  group, the Lazarus Group.

A declaration Nelson said in a statement that Tornado Cash “has persistently failed to implement appropriate controls aimed to restrict it from laundering payments for hostile cyber actors on a regular basis and without basic procedures to manage its risks.” Nelson is the Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

Beginning on Monday, all of Tornado Cash’s assets in the US and in the custody of US citizens must be frozen and reported to OFAC. Tornado Cash could not immediately be reached for comment, but one of its followers tweeted: “Seems like USDC has really banned the Tornado Cash contracts, meaning if you have USDC deposited…Tornado prevents you from accessing it, even though everything you did was entirely legal and legitimate. was tweeted again by the business.

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Breakdown on Cryptocurrency Breakdown: SEC, Treasury Pursue Exchange Investigations

The largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US, Coinbase, is under investigation by the SEC, while the Treasury Department is looking into Kraken, according to sources.

Over the past ten years, cryptocurrency has likely been most known for its anarchy instead of volatility. con artists have sought sanctuary in a financial Wild West made possible by the blockchain, while mysterious cryptocurrency inventors have disappeared after pocketing millions from initial coin offerings.

Two studies made public on Tuesday provide further evidence that the US government is trying to change that. According to Bloomberg, the Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume in the US. According to reports, the SEC claims that 150 of the tokens that Coinbase lets customers purchase should be registered as securities, putting the exchange within the authority of the watchdog.

If cryptocurrencies are recognised as securities, businesses that seek to generate or trade them must register with the SEC.Additionally, it would imply that some cryptocurrency schemes would be felonies. Following the Bloomberg story, the price of Coinbase’s stock decreased by 21%.

And then there’s Kraken, a $10 billion cryptocurrency exchange that, according to the New York Times, is the subject of an investigation by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control for possible sanctions violations. The Times reports that Kraken is accused of breaking US sanctions by enabling users in Iran to buy and trade cryptocurrency. It comes after the US Treasury issued a warning in October about how cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether may make it simpler for nations like Iran, North Korea, and now Russia to circumvent sanctions.

According to a statement from the company’s chief legal officer, Marco Santori, “Kraken has strong compliance controls in place and continues to build its compliance team to meet its commercial growth.” Kraken “closely checks compliance with sanctions laws and, generally speaking, notifies even possible concerns to regulators.”

The SEC has already reviewed it. We are convinced that our rigorous verification process — a process the SEC has already reviewed — keeps securities off our platform, and we look forward to engaging with the SEC on this matter,” tweeted Paul Grewal, the chief legal officer of Coinbase.

Although the investigations into Coinbase and Kraken are distinct from one another, they both show how aggressively regulators and law enforcement are going after cryptocurrency firms. Due to the anonymity that the blockchain provides, it is difficult but not impossible to enforce stringent sanctions on specific individuals. It is easier to target companies and the employees that work there. The SEC opened a similar inquiry into Binance in June with the goal of determining whether the cryptocurrency BNB traded on the exchange ought to be registered as a security.

The results of investigations are also beginning to emerge. Ishan Wahi, a former product manager at Coinbase, was accused by federal authorities last week of insider trading on the grounds that he allegedly revealed knowledge about impending cryptocurrency listings to his brother and a friend. It is said to be the first insider trading accusation involving digital tokens. A product manager at the NFT marketplace OpenSea was charged by the FBI in June for allegedly exploiting secret information to purchase NFTs just before they were advertised on the platform. This was also referred to as a first.

Perhaps most crucially, lawmakers are steadily drafting legislation that would subject cryptocurrency to clearer legal frameworks. According to a senate-introduced, bipartisan measure, bitcoin ought to be treated like a commodity and be governed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). A plan that would subject stablecoin issuers, who are tied to fiat currencies like the US dollar, to the Federal Reserve’s supervision is currently being developed by the House Financial Services Committee.

It appears that regulatory impulses have been spurred by the crypto crisis of 2022. Unfavorable macroeconomic factors are to blame for a significant portion of the bitcoin and ether price decline. The same interest rate increases that sent bitcoin tumbling also had a negative impact on tech companies, but the upheaval in the cryptocurrency market has been exacerbated by a severe contagion effect. When Terra’s stablecoin was de-pegged, the market lost billions of dollars in value. That led to the bankruptcy of hedge firm Three Arrows Capital. 3AC owed over $600 million to Voyager Digital, a company that filed for bankruptcy when it was unable to pay its debts.

Crypto enthusiasts are still hopeful that tokens like bitcoin and ether will continue to exist and reach new, obscenely high prices. If the US government had its way, the Wild West might not be as wild by the time that happens.

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