Coinbase Sponsors Lawsuit Against US Treasury Department

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  • Coinbase is sponsoring a lawsuit against the US Treasury Department regarding the blacklisting of Tornado Cash.
  • Lawyers of the crypto service said that none of the plaintiffs is a terrorist or a criminal.”
  • The regulator, however, argued that bad actors had used Tornado Cash to launder more than $7 billion in the last three years.

According to a report by CNBC, users of the freshly sanctioned crypto service Tornado Cash filed a lawsuit against the Treasury Department on Thursday, and Coinbase is paying for it.

Employees of Coinbase and other customers of the mixing service that was placed on the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) blacklist in August are among the six plaintiffs of the lawsuit.

Lawyers for the Tornado Cash customers argued in the complaint that “none of the plaintiffs is a terrorist or a criminal.” It continued:

None supports terrorism or illegal activity. None launders money. Each is an American who simply wants to engage in entirely lawful activity in private.

Tornado Cash and other mixing services offer anonymous but readily trackable cryptographic transactions. A senior security risk analyst at Coinbase who is also a plaintiff utilized the service to anonymize donations to Ukraine out of concern that Russian hacker organizations might target his address.

However, the Treasury Department asserted that North Korean hackers and other bad actors had exploited this specific business to launder more than $7 billion in digital money over the last three years.

Crypto enthusiasts, including Coinbase’s chief legal officer Paul Grewal see the regulator’s action as a much larger problem. He said it sets a “dangerous precedent” in the crypto industry and if this code can be designated without any limits imposed by law, any technology, tool or system could be fair game.

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