The US Treasury Department is facing backlash from the cryptocurrency industry due to sanctions imposed on a company accused of helping billions of dollars.
Earlier this month, the US agency banned virtual currency platform Tornado Cash for allegedly helping to raise more than $7 billion in virtual currency since its inception in 2019.
Virtual currency platforms combine various digital assets, including money obtained legally or even illegally, to keep the origin of the funds secret, including stolen money.
In the weeks following the announcement of the sanctions, crypto firms, lobbyists and at least one lawmaker in the United States came to the company’s defense, claiming that the sanctions opened the door to limiting the use of proprietary software among Americans. Gave.
Coin Center, a non-profit cryptocurrency advocacy firm, says the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Bureau “exceeded its statutory authority” through its sanctions, alleging that they “potentially limit due process and freedom of expression”. violates the constitutional rights of the
One cryptocurrency firm, Tether, said it will not freeze its Tornado Cash-linked accounts and intends to keep them open.
Representative Tom Emmer, a Republican from Minnesota who received at least $50,000 in contributions this year from the CEO of the Blockchain Association, wrote to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen this week about why Tornado Cash was penalized, adding that the ban “Not only do our influences affect national security, but also the right to privacy of all American citizens.”
Emmer told The Associated Press that the sanctions penalize Americans who use the company’s software for legitimate purposes. “My government has no business approving my ability to use software that protects my anonymity, especially when I use it for legitimate purposes,” he said.
This came after a Tornado Cash developer, Alexei Pertsev, was arrested in the Netherlands in early August for allegedly facilitating money laundering, days after the US sanctions were imposed.