Blockchain Association Joins the Fight Against Sanctions on Tornado Cash
This Friday, the Blockchain Association and the DeFi Education Fund filed an amicus brief supporting Coin Center’s lawsuit against the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). The lawsuit and the filing pertain to OFAC’s sanctioning of Tornado Cash, a cryptocurrency summer, that was announced last summer.
Advocacy Groups File Amicus Brief Supporting Coin Center’s Lawsuit
On June 2nd, the Blockchain Association filed an amicus brief together with the DeFi Education Fund in Coin Center’s ongoing lawsuit against OFAC. The lawsuit was filed to challenge the blacklisting of Tornado Cash, a cryptocurrency mixer.
The brief calls OFAC’s sanctioning of the mixer “unprecedented and unlawful”. It also describes the Tradusry’s decision as “arbitrary-and-capricious” and states that it exceeds the department’s authority.
Furthermore, the Blockchain Association and the DeFi Education Fund highlighted both the importance of privacy in the world of digital assets and Tornado Cash’s key part in ensuring that privacy. The groups also echoed Coin Center’s claim that the blacklisting is, plainly, unlawful.
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Coin Center Claims Sanctioning of Tornado Cash is Unconstitutional
OFAC’s decision to blacklist Tornado Cash last summer was highly controversial from the very beginning. Shortly after the sanctions were announced, a crypto advocacy group called Coin Center published an analysis assessing that they may, in fact, also be unconstitutional.
Coin Center argued that the fact that Tornado Cash is a piece of open-source software renders it unsanctionable and protected by the Constitution as a form of free speech. Therefore, in October 2022, the group sued OFAC seeking to remove the blacklisting.
Despite the pushback, US Treasury has remained committed to its decision. In November, it published additional information on the sanctioning of Tornado Cash and alleged that the cryptocurrency mixer was also used to help finance North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
Do you think OFAC will be forced to lift the sanctions it placed on Tornado Cash? Let us know in the comments below.