Tornado Cash Developer’s Arrest Sparks Protest in Amsterdam

More than 50 people gathered in Amsterdam’s historic Dam Square this weekend in protest of Tornado Cash developer Alexey Pertsev’s arrest

article-image

Source: Tornado Cash

share

key takeaways

  • Tornado Cash developer Alexey Pertsev was arrested earlier this month over alleged facilitation of money laundering
  • Privacy advocates worry Pertsev’s arrest could have damaging consequences for open-source coders

Supporters of Tornado Cash developer Alexey Pertsev gathered in Amsterdam to protest over the weekend, almost two weeks after he was arrested in the Dutch capital.

Dutch financial crimes agency FIOD suspects the 29-year-old programmer of facilitating money laundering through the crypto-mixing service. But the agency hasn’t specified under which laws Pertsev was arrested. He is yet to be charged with a specific crime, per the latest available information.

Pertsev’s arrest has sparked widespread backlash among open source developers, and an online petition decrying his detention has garnered almost 2,000 signatures.

DeFi (decentralized finance) aggregator 1inch Network had called on individuals to join a protest rally in Amsterdam’s historic Dam Square, arguing developers, including Tornado Cash programmers, hold no control over how their code is used.

On Saturday, over 50 protesters held placards with slogans including: “Free Alex Pertsev,” “Writing open source code is not a crime,” and, “Will you arrest a gun maker for facilitating public shooting?”

Loading Tweet..

The Change.org petition, created by Helsinki-based product manager Daria Mironova, states the “accusations against Alex threaten to kill the entire open-source software segment.”

US authorities believe Tornado Cash is a primary tool for North Korean hacker crew Lazarus Group in laundering stolen cryptocurrency. 

Earlier this month, the US Treasury sanctioned the mixer’s blockchain addresses, among others, rendering it illegal for US persons to interact with the tool.

The mixer’s front-end web app is now offline, although the actual protocol — which is powered by smart contracts — persists on the Ethereum blockchain.

Pertsev’s wife Ksenia Malik told Cointelegraph last week that she hasn’t got the chance to contact him after authorities took him in.

Malik said she didn’t expect someone could be arrested for writing open source code and expressed gratitude for support shown.


Don’t miss the next big story – join our free daily newsletter.

Tags

Upcoming Events

Hilton Metropole | 225 Edgware Rd, London

Mon - Wed, March 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience: Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts.

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Top Icon.png

Research

Osmosis thrived in H2 2023 on the back of increased DeFi activity deriving from recently launched Cosmos-related projects and better market conditions. With new value accrual mechanisms for the native token, Osmosis is well-positioned to continue its strong performance in 2024.

/

article-image

The mining segment has healthy buyers likely to be “very inquisitive and active” around the halving, crypto advisory firm partner says

article-image

In reality, many of the oft-touted uses for bringing blockchain and AI together aren’t actually all that useful

article-image

The latest total broke the previous daily net inflow high of $493 million set on Feb. 13

article-image

The liquid restaking token’s TVL shot up over 200% in the past month

article-image

Analysts say continued demand for spot bitcoin ETFs, optimism that a spot ether product will hit the market this year and anticipation of bitcoin’s next halving are the main tailwinds for this rally

article-image

Bitcoin may have sucked air out of the room but there’s still plenty going on across the rest of crypto and web3