The popular cryptocurrency mixer called Tornado Cash has reportedly returned to the software development platform GitHub. The mixer was banned from the website for several weeks.
Sanctions partially lifted
Preston van Loon, an Ethereum (ETH) developer, has Twitter announced that GitHub has partially lifted sanctions on Tornado Cash organization and their contributors. Here, van Loon reports that Tornado Cash’s code repository is now available in “read-only” mode only. This means that GitHub has yet to restore full functionality, but the first steps have already been taken. Van Loon said the following about this:
That’s progress from an outright ban. I still encourage GitHub to undo all actions and return the repositories to their original state.
Return of Tornado Cash
According to data sourced from GitHub, the latest updates to Tornado Cash repositories were made on August 22, or shortly after Tornado Cash co-founder Roman Semenov reported that his account was on the platform.
On August 8 of this year, the United States’ Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) banned U.S. residents from using Tornado Cash and blacklisted 44 USD Coin (USDC) and Ethereum addresses associated with the mixer are connected.
Tornado Cash’s return to GitHub came shortly after OFAC clarified its Tornado Cash policy on Sept. 13, stating that US residents would not violate sanctions by copying the mixer’s code or making it available online. The OFAC also noted that U.S. individuals would not be banned from accessing the Tornado Cash website if it becomes available online again.
What exactly is Tornado Cash?
Tornado Cash is a tool based on the Ethereum blockchain that allows users to better hide their crypto transactions to protect their anonymity by obscuring information traces on the blockchain.
The Ethereum mixer came under scrutiny from global regulators following the OFAC ban, leading to arrests of Tornado Cash developers for alleged involvement in money laundering through the platform.
The ongoing controversy surrounding Tornado Cash has raised several questions in the cryptocurrency and developer community, with many people concerned about legal issues associated with writing open source code.
As a result, some major crypto firms withdrew from the actions of the Treasury Department, with Coinbase Exchange deciding to support a lawsuit filed by Tornado Cash users against the OFAC.
Even the Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin publicly mentioned that he used Tornado Cash to donate money to Ukraine to protect the financial privacy of the recipients. The tool is probably used much more often for good purposes than for the bad. However, it has caused quite a stir in the market.