Anonymous User Sends ETH From Tornado Cash to Celebrities Following Sanctions – Cointelegraph

Anonymous User Sends ETH From Tornado Cash to Celebrities Following Sanctions – Cointelegraph

On Tuesday, a day after the US Treasury Department sanctioned cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash for its alleged role in cryptocurrency money laundering operations, intervals of 0.1 Ether (ETH) transactions from the smart contract began for prominent figures including Brian Armstrong, CEO by Coinbase, and American television to materialize host Jimmy Fallon. It is not possible to trace the source of transactions per tornado cash design and therefore either an individual or multiple people or organizations may be involved in the operation.

Due to sanctions, it is illegal for US persons and entities to interact with Tornado Cash smart contract addresses, whether blockchain or business. Penalties for willful non-compliance can range from fines of $50,000 to $10,000,000 and 10 to 30 years in prison.

The consistency of the transactions suggests that the sender(s) may be playing a prank to draw law enforcement attention to the recipient individuals. However, the Treasury Department’s sanctions require “deliberate” handling of the blacklisted smart contract addresses as a prerequisite to potential criminal prosecution. Therefore, receiving tokens from Tornado Cash gratuitously without prior knowledge or engagement is unlikely to constitute a sanctions violation.

On the same day, Web3 development platforms Alchemy and Infura.io joined stablecoin issuer Circle and programming repository GitHub to blacklist the sanctioned Tornado Cash addresses and grant access to its front-end application lock out. Months earlier, Tornado Cash attempted to address lingering concerns that its platform was being used by malicious hackers to launder stolen crypto funds by disabling illegal wallets’ access to the application. However, its co-founder Roman Semenov said at the time that the tool only blocks access to the decentralized application’s interface, or DApp, and not to the underlying smart contract.

Months earlier, Tornado Cash attempted to address lingering concerns that its platform was being used by malicious hackers to launder stolen crypto funds by disabling illegal wallets’ access to the application. However, its co-founder Roman Semenov said at the time that the tool only blocks access to the decentralized application’s interface, or DApp, and not to the underlying smart contract.