The Treasury Department declined to answer a Republican lawmaker’s questions about the Tornado Cash coin mixer blacklist.
Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) wrote a letter to the Treasury Department five months ago and asked a number of questions about the Tornado Cash ban, stating that “technology is neutral and the expectation of privacy is normal.”
Tornado Cash is a popular “coin shuffling” app that allows people to send and receive anonymously EthereumThe second largest digital asset by market capitalization.
But the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) banned And US citizens did not use it last August claiming that criminals were using it to launder dirty money.
Treasury Assistant Attorney Jonathan Davidson said in a Monday letter to Emmer, released by the Republican lawmaker today.
Emmer responded by saying in a tweet that tools like Tornado Cash are necessary for cryptocurrency transactions to maintain the same kind of privacy that people expect from cash. He described the Finance Ministry’s move to ban the app as a “destructive political decision”.
The congressman had initially asked Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to explain why the department sanctioned a decentralized application — rather than a centralized entity run by people — noting that the anonymizing software “is not subject to Bank Secrecy Act obligations.”
He also noted that it was not practical to punish people who reluctantly received Ethereum from someone else using the app (point prove When an anonymous troll sent anonymous cryptocurrency to celebrities using Ethereum wallets.)
However, the Treasury Department has since clarified that it will not seek to punish individuals who have been “dumped” with Tornado Cash-related cryptocurrency and will provide a legal means for individuals to withdraw funds from the platform without suffering penalties.
When the Federal Reserve decided to ban Tornado Cash last August, it sent a lot of people into a frenzy in the cryptocurrency community Even in the arms.
Coinbase, the largest digital asset exchange in the United States, is lawsuit financingv. Treasury Department over the move, arguing that the ban “punishes people who have done nothing wrong and results in reduced privacy and security.”
Authorities claim the app was used by the North Korean state-sponsored hacking group Lazarus Group as a tool to hide stolen funds.
The Fed initially said that more than $7 billion in dirty digital cash has passed through the Tornado since its creation in 2019. However, later on, Blockchain data firm Elliptic claimed In a report that only $1.5 billion of the $7.6 billion going through the app was from illegal activity.
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