June 16, 2024
1 Solar System Way, Planet Earth, USA
Crypto

Vitalik Buterin donates 30 ETH to Tornado Cash's legal defense while developing a “compatible” version

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Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has made a significant donation of 30 Ether (approximately $114,000) to support the legal defense of Alexey Pertsev and Roman Storm, the developers behind the controversial cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash.

At the same time, Buterin is working on a new Ethereum-based crypto mixer designed to comply with anti-money laundering laws.

Alexey Pertsev, one of the developers of Tornado Cash, was recently sentenced to more than five years in prison by a Dutch court for his involvement in a $2.2 billion money laundering case. Roman Storm, another Tornado Cash developer, will face trial on similar charges in a US court in September. His cases have attracted widespread attention from privacy advocates and the blockchain community, who fear that developers could be held responsible for misuse of their code by third parties.

Pertsev's conviction has also raised concerns about the future of smart contracts used in anonymization platforms, as the Dutch court ruled that he was responsible for the actions of those using Tornado Cash's technology, despite the autonomous nature of smart contracts.

Several prominent entities in the cryptocurrency industry have come together to support the developers of Tornado Cash. Coinbase, the Blockchain Association, and other trade associations have filed amicus briefs in support of Roman Storm. Matter Labs, the developer group behind the ZKSync layer 2 network, has donated $100,000 for the developers' legal defense, while Uniswap DAO is considering a donation of up to $1.5 million in UNI tokens.

Data from decentralized finance platform Juicebox indicates that the chain legal defense fund has already raised $2.2 million in donations.

In parallel with his support of Tornado Cash developers, Vitalik Buterin is collaborating with other researchers, including Ameen Soleimani, to develop a new cryptocurrency mixer called Privacy Pools. This unique mechanismdescribed in a 2023 paper, it aims to allow users to maintain their privacy without offering criminals a completely clean source of crypto funds.

Privacy Pools will allow users to opt out of mixing their funds with potentially ill-gotten gains, addressing concerns raised by regulators and law enforcement agencies regarding the use of cryptocurrency mixers for money laundering. and other illicit activities.

The development of Privacy Pools and Buterin's support of Tornado Cash developers highlight ongoing efforts within the DeFi community to balance the cypherpunk ethos of privacy and decentralization with the need to comply with anti-money laundering laws.

As major Wall Street players like BlackRock and Fidelity show increasing interest in the DeFi sector, projects like Privacy Pools and 0xarcwhich is implementing the Privacy Pools concept, shows a continued commitment to finding solutions that maintain user privacy while meeting regulatory requirements.

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