Ruling to keep Tornado Cash developer in jail for 90 days sparks backlash

Ruling to keep Tornado Cash developer in jail for 90 days sparks backlash

August 25, 2022

A judge in the Netherlands ruled that Tornado Cash developer Alexey Pertsev has to stay in jail for 90 more days while waiting for charges. Puzzled by the decision, the crypto community rallied to demand the release of the developer. 

In a Tweet, crypto investo Ryan Adams argued that the developer did something good for the public as he wrote the code for Tornado Cash. The community member then highlighted that “a few bad guys” decided to use Pertsev’s code and now the developer has to suffer the consequences.

Apart from Adams, crypto researcher Jill Gunter also noted that there has not been enough information regarding the arrest of Pertsev. Gunter described the status of the charges as confusing and defined the situation as a “scary problem.”

In Amsterdam, protestors gathered to demand the release of the developer. Chanting “open source is not a crime,” the protestors urged the government to catch the criminals and not the developers.

Cryptography teacher Matthew Green also criticized the Dutch police for their move to arrest Pertsev. He said that while he has no idea what the developer did to deserve arrest, it looks like the police don’t know either. 

Related: Tether says it would not freeze sanctioned Tornado Cash addresses unless instructed by law enforcement

On Aug. 12, the developer was arrested for suspicions of involvement in money laundering through the Tornado Cash mixer. Authorities in the Netherlands said that the mixer was used to hide huge money flows from criminals and utilized for crypto scams and hacks.

Earlier in August, the United States Treasury Department sanctioned addresses linked to Tornado Cash and prohibited residents to use the mixer due to its involvement in decentralized finance (DeFi) hacks and exploits. USD Coin (USDC) and Ether (ETH) addresses were placed on the Office of Foreign Asset Control’s block list.

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