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DeFi Education Fund and Blockchain Association Back Tornado Cash Amid Legal Battle

The DeFi Education Fund and Blockchain Association have submitted a brief as amicus curiae supporting the plaintiff’s motion for partial summary judgment against the U.S. Treasury Department, showing their support for Tornado Cash in the ongoing legal dispute over OFAC’s sanctions.

Tornado Cash Sanctioned by OFAC Over Alleged Links to North Korean Hackers

In 2022, OFAC added Tornado Cash’s addresses to its Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons list due to allegations of supporting Lazarus Group, a North Korean hacking collective, in moving $7 billion from various exploits. Consequently, Tornado Cash’s creator, Alexy Pertsev, was taken into custody in August on money laundering charges due to the OFAC’s sanctions.

In the Tornado Cash case, the petitioner insisted that OFAC violated the APA (Administrative Procedures) Act by imposing sanctions on an entity that was not accountable for them. This move impeded users’ free speech rights and deprived them of their cryptocurrency property in the mixer without delay.

Support for Tornado Cash Continues to Grow

DeFi Education Fund and Blockchain Association argue that Tornado Cash as software plays a vital role in maintaining user privacy and should not be treated as a person or property. The brief further stated that OFAC’s sanctions on Tornado Cash are arbitrary, capricious, and inconsistent with the law.

Coin Center filed a case against the Treasury Department in October, claiming that the sanctions on Tornado Cash were unlawful and unprecedented. Paul Grewal, the CLO of Coinbase, supported Tornado Cash, stating that sanctions should aim at malicious actors rather than technology.

The amicus brief of the Blockchain Association and DeFi Education Fund reiterated that tools such as Tornado Cash allow users to maintain their privacy while enjoying the advantages of blockchain technology. A pretrial conference is scheduled for April 23rd for the parties involved in the case.