Sunday, November 27, 2022
 

Congressman Asks Treasury About ‘Unprecedented’ Tornado Cash Sanctions

  • US Congressman, Tom Emmer, addressed a letter to the US Treasury Secretary about the unprecedented sanctioning of Tornado Cash.
  • Emmer claims that OFAC sanctions on Tornado Cash are the first sanctions issued against a software.
  • Congressman Emmer also asked the US Treasury to explain what technology for blockchain developers is sanctionable.

On Tuesday, US Congressman for Minnesota’s Sixth District, Tom Emmer, addressed a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen asking an explanation about the unprecedented sanctioning of Tornado Cash.

In the letter, Emmer claims that the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) sanctions on the cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash are the first sanctions issued against a software, which is something other than an individual or entity.

The US Congressman further states:

Considering Executive Order 13694 defines “entity” as a “partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization,” adding Tornado Cash to OFAC’s SDN list appears to be a divergence from previous OFAC precedent because several of the Tornado Cash Ethereum addresses are not, to our knowledge, an individual or entity.

The Congressman explains that smart contract addresses are widely distributed technological tools and cannot be identified as a person or an entity. Emmer also asked the US Treasury to explain what technology for blockchain developers is sanctionable and what different financial law enforcement actions are going to be taken in the foreseeable future.

In addition, Emmer directed several questions at OFAC, including which entity OFAC believed should have imposed controls on Tornado Cash blockchain contracts, how U.S. users can reclaim funds currently locked in the mixer, and what the people who receive funds should do.

The letter was sent by the US congressman after OFAC sanctioned Tornado Cash for allegedly being used by the Lazarus group, a North Korean hacker group to launder Ethereum coins worth millions of dollars. With this sanctioning, OFAC could impact the national security and the right to privacy of every American citizen.

  • US Congressman, Tom Emmer, addressed a letter to the US Treasury Secretary about the unprecedented sanctioning of Tornado Cash.
  • Emmer claims that OFAC sanctions on Tornado Cash are the first sanctions issued against a software.
  • Congressman Emmer also asked the US Treasury to explain what technology for blockchain developers is sanctionable.

On Tuesday, US Congressman for Minnesota’s Sixth District, Tom Emmer, addressed a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen asking an explanation about the unprecedented sanctioning of Tornado Cash.

In the letter, Emmer claims that the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) sanctions on the cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash are the first sanctions issued against a software, which is something other than an individual or entity.

The US Congressman further states:

Considering Executive Order 13694 defines “entity” as a “partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization,” adding Tornado Cash to OFAC’s SDN list appears to be a divergence from previous OFAC precedent because several of the Tornado Cash Ethereum addresses are not, to our knowledge, an individual or entity.

The Congressman explains that smart contract addresses are widely distributed technological tools and cannot be identified as a person or an entity. Emmer also asked the US Treasury to explain what technology for blockchain developers is sanctionable and what different financial law enforcement actions are going to be taken in the foreseeable future.

In addition, Emmer directed several questions at OFAC, including which entity OFAC believed should have imposed controls on Tornado Cash blockchain contracts, how U.S. users can reclaim funds currently locked in the mixer, and what the people who receive funds should do.

The letter was sent by the US congressman after OFAC sanctioned Tornado Cash for allegedly being used by the Lazarus group, a North Korean hacker group to launder Ethereum coins worth millions of dollars. With this sanctioning, OFAC could impact the national security and the right to privacy of every American citizen.

 

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