Treasury Department Sanctions Tornado Cash Mixing Service After North Korean Laundering
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In what some experts say is a watershed moment in dampening cybercrime, the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned Tornado Cash, a popular cryptocurrency “mixing” service that allows users to mask their transactions, after North Korean hackers relied on it to launder illicit gains, barring American companies and individuals from doing business with the service.
According to the Department, Tornado Cash has been used to launder more than $7 billion in virtual currency, with North Korea’s Lazarus Group laundering about $450 million through the service. In an interview, Roman Semenov, one of three founders of Tornado Cash, said it was “technically impossible” for sanctions to be enforced against decentralized protocols because of how they are designed.
The project is smart contract-based, meaning that pre-written software programs instead of individuals making de…
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