Tornado Cash said it cannot block users from Russia

The Ethereum Tornado Cash mixer cannot apply the sanctions imposed on Russia due to the invasion of Ukraine. Roman Semenov, co-founder of the project, told Bloomberg about it.

Tornado Cash is based on smart contracts that accept deposit tokens from one address and allow them to be withdrawn to another. These contracts act as liquidity pools that aggregate all deposited assets.

User privacy and anonymity are achieved by breaking the link between the source and recipient of funds. The service uses the zk-SNARK protocol to verify and authorize transactions.

Semenov pointed out that the project does not provide custodial services and does not use centralized hosting to run the application.

“We [developers] have no more access than other users. […] All we do is write code and publish it on GitHub. It fits the definition of free speech, so writing code cannot be illegal,” he said.

In October 2021, the FATF published the final version of the provisions for the cryptocurrency industry. According to the document, developers, owners, operators, or others who retain “sufficient control or influence over DeFi mechanisms” are most likely to be providers of virtual assets.

The latter are required to comply with anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regulations by analogy with traditional financial companies. Experts interviewed by ForkLog noted that in the event that the end beneficiaries of the DeFi project are not anonymous, they can be judged to be held liable.

Earlier, the FATF condemned Russia’s war against Ukraine and pointed out that the aggressor’s actions are contrary to the main principles of the organization.

Recall that experts doubted Russia’s ability to circumvent sanctions using cryptocurrencies.