US Treasury Department Continues To Designate Tornado Cash
The US Treasury Department is re-listing sanctions on Tornado Cash, attaching mixers to North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) said in a news statement that it had “delisted and simultaneously redesignated” the service, shifting its reasoning from the claim that it assisted North Korean hackers to the claim it supported the North Korean dictatorship more broadly.
Despite complaints from users that the Treasury only focuses on a service and not an organization, the U.S. Treasury has expanded its argument for penalizing the virtual currency mixing service Tornado Cash because it allegedly aids North Korea.
As such, this is seen as a double punishment targeting Tornado Cash following the initial ban on cybercrime. Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson said:
“Today’s sanctions action targets two key nodes of the DPRK’s weapons programs: its increasing reliance on illicit activities, including cybercrime, to generate revenue, and its ability to procure and transport goods in support of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs.”
In addition, the Treasury Department countered the argument that Tornado Cash and wallet addresses are software, not individuals or organizations, and therefore cannot be a sanctioned entity. Department makes clear an entity here can be a partnership, association… or other organization.
However, the watchdog noted that Tornado Cash founders, DAO members, and users are not being punished at this time.
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