- In the Netherlands, a developer of Tornado Cash was arrested on Wednesday.
- The accusation is money laundering, and the members of the DAO are also alleged to have enriched themselves.
- Critics see this as an attack on freedom of opinion and speech, because open source software should be accessible to everyone.
In the Netherlands, there was an arrest in connection with Tornado Cash on Wednesday. A 29-year-old suspect is being brought before the magistrate today after being picked up in Amsterdam. He is said to have been involved in the development of the Ethereum Tumbler. According to a press release, law enforcement agencies do not rule out further arrests.
Because the US has put the Ethereum mixer on a sanctions list, the Dutch authorities feel obliged to investigate for money laundering. At least 1 billion US dollars of cryptocurrencies are said to come from criminal sources. In total, about $ 7 billion was funneled through Tornado Cash.
According to a statement from the FIOD, members of the DAO are said to have enriched themselves with the activities of Tornado Cash. In the past, Dutch law enforcement agencies in cooperation with Europol also managed to close Bitcoin mixers. However, the operation in the case of Tornado Cash is unprecedented.
Open war against open source
Tornado Cash’s technology is neutral. Therefore, it can be used by anyone for any purpose. Only recently, Vitalik Buterin confessed to using it. He wanted to conceal his donations to Ukraine.
The case makes it clear that no one is safe anymore who participates in the development of open source software in any form, if it is a thorn in the side of the state. The US is once again playing the role of the world police and is no longer pursuing the perpetrators, but everyone in society who comes into contact with them. The fact that this does not have to be done willingly or knowingly does not seem to matter.
With this, the fronts should be finally clarified and it is to be expected that software that has a disruptive potential can only be developed anonymously. In addition to criminals, ordinary people also benefit from the protection of their data. Buterin concealed his donations, for example, in order to protect not himself, but the recipients.