Judge Allows Tornado Cash Developer to Challenge Chainalysis in Trial

Judge Allows Tornado Cash Developer to Challenge Chainalysis in Trial

Dutch court permits Tornado Cash developer to question Chainalysis in his money laundering trial due to the role its data played in his arrest.

In an unexpected turn  of events, a Dutch court has ruled that Tornado Cash developer Alexey Pertsev can question blockchain tech analytics company Chainalysis in his ongoing money laundering trial.

Detained in August 2022, Russia-born Pertsev was apprehended by the Dutch Fiscal and Information Service (FIOD) for allegedly aiding money launderers through the Ethereum-based decentralized mixing service, Tornado Cash. The service allows for plenty of users to pool digital currencies together, mix them, and obscure their identities and previous transactions.

He was published in April this year and returned home.

As he tries to clear his name of the money laundering charges against him, the court has granted Pertsev permission to question Chainalysis about its methods, albeit in writing, as a result of the role its data played in his arrest.

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Chainalysis declined to Decrypt’s request for comment about today’s ruling.

Reports by Pertsev’s lawyer, Keith Cheng, explanations by the FIOD have proven unsatisfactory, citing entities that do not exist on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain.

The court in the Netherlands likewise announced a delay in the trial, with discussions set to start in 2024.

Tornado Cash was blacklisted a year ago and added to the United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Specially Designated Nationals list, effectively banning American citizens from using the service.

An official statement from United States regulatory authorities alleges the privacy tool has helped launder greater than $7 Billion dollars since its inception in 2019, citing North Korean attackers and other malicious actors.

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This court case drew the attention of privacy and digital currency advocates around the globe, given it  can potentially set a precedent for programmers that design permissionless protocols and raising the warning for those working and maintaining open source software.

The protocol was likewise in the latest information earlier this coming week owing to a malicious proposition that was accidentally voted in by the Tornado Cash DAO before anyone discovered it contained malicious code.


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