‘Deep Concern’ in the Crypto Industry Over Tornado Cash Ban

The Electronic Frontier Foundation Expresses Its “Deep Concern” About the Proposed Ban on Tornado Cash

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), along with other crypto and privacy groups, has joined the chorus of those protesting the decision of the United States Treasury Department to implement sanctions that prevent individuals of the United States from utilizing the Tornado Cash coin mixer.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a prestigious organization that advocates for digital rights and was established more than three decades ago, monitors blockchain technology as well as regulatory initiatives.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation expressed its alarm through Twitter, writing,

“EFF is deeply concerned that the U.S. Treasury Department has included an open source computer project, Tornado Cash, on its list of sanctioned individuals” According to what the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) noted, “Code has long been recognized as speech. Thus there are strong implications for the First Amendment whenever the government prohibits the publication of computer code on a public website.”

In what appears to be a reaction to the sanctions, the open-source code repository Github, which a commercial company operates, suspended the account of Tornado Cash developer Roman Semenov. The Tornado Cash repository had openly shared the code that was required to operate the mixing service.


Industry in Turmoil Over Tornado Ban

On August 8, the Treasury Department issued sanctions against Tornado Cash. Cryptocurrency and privacy activists interpreted this as a call to action, and they stepped up their attempts to organize a response to the sanctions. The comments made by the EFF were made on the same day that a cryptocurrency non-profit organization called Coin Center stated that it is preparing a legal challenge to the ban on Tornado Cash.

Neeraj K. Agrawal of Coin Center tweeted that “We feel OFAC has exceeded its legislative power by sanctioning the Tornado Cash smart contract.” Coin Center is of the opinion that OFAC violated its statutory authority. “Coin Center is investigating the possibility of filing a legal challenge.”

Jerry Brito and Peter Van Valkenburgh of Coin Center stated that the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the United States Treasury committed an overreach when it included Tornado Cash smart contract addresses to its list of blacklisted people and specially designated nationals (SDN).

“This action potentially violates constitutional rights to due process and free speech, and that OFAC has not adequately acted to mitigate the foreseeable impact its action would have on innocent Americans,” they wrote. “OFAC has not adequately acted to mitigate the foreseeable impact its action would have on innocent Americans.”


Other KOLs’ reactions to the Tornado Cash Ban

Tornado Cash is a privacy tool that helps users conceal the source of their payments and where those monies are going. It does this through the utilization of smart contracts. Users first submit bitcoin to the service, where it is mixed with other cryptocurrencies, and then the users send the recipient an equivalent quantity of coins that have been “mixed.”

Chris Tomeo, head of growth marketing for Electric Coin Company, the company that is behind the Zcash privacy coin, wrote that “privacy gives you the ability to express yourself, to be creative, and to spend your time and your money in whatever manner you like, without the scrutiny of others.”

Electric Coin Company is the organization that developed the Zcash privacy coin.

“[Privacy] safeguards our most intimate moments, our most embarrassing desires, and our most daring ideas, as well as the capacity to be our actual selves,”

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