The Dutch Crime Agency (FIOD) has announced the arrest of a 29-year old Tornado Cash developer following the United States Treasury Department sanctions on the cryptocurrency mixer. According to the FIOD, the 29-year old suspect is allegedly involved in concealing illicit financial information and facilitating money laundering.


The FIOD noted that cryptocurrency mixers like Tornado Cash facilitate money laundering because they are mostly used to increase by the anonymity of the cryptocurrency transactions. Earlier this month, this was the same reason why the United States banned the cryptocurrency mixer which is built on the Ethereum network.


Tornado Cash has been under intense scrutiny and investigation by the FIOD since June 2022 because of its alleged links to criminal organizations like the state-backed Lazarus Group of crypto hackers. The Lazarus Group in particular have been behind some of the biggest heists in recent cryptocurrency history including the Ronin Bridge heist and the Harmony bridge attack.


However, Tornado Cash would be hard to sanction as a protocol because it’s governance decisions are made through a DAO with no central entity backing it. This has been a major source of concern for law enforcement agencies especially since the criminal activities linked to Tornado Cash have reached a crescendo this year.


Following the announcement of the arrest of the developer, several voices in the crypto community have spoken out in outrage towards the FIOD because even if the developers programmed the code, they don’t retain any partial or complete control of the platform and cannot influence any decisions concerning the platform.


Many people questioned the basis of the arrest claiming that there has to be something else that the 29-year old developer was arrested in connection to because simply writing the Tornado Cash programming code is not enough reason to arrest him. This lack of a satisfactory justification to arrest the developer has led to general outrage in the crypto industry especially from several defenders of data privacy.


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