Alexey Pertsev, the developer of cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash, is expected to be released from prison on April 26. While he has been in detention since his arrest on August 10, 2022, this conditional release will allow him to better prepare his defense for his trial.
Alexey Pertsev should be released from prison
This is the sequel to a long soap opera that started in August 2022, Tornado Cash developer Alexey Pertsev set to be released on bail on April 26. Indeed, he has been detained in the Netherlands since his arrest in Amsterdam on August 10, on the grounds that he would have facilitated money laundering through the protocol he participated in creating.
This event was a direct result of the addition of Tornado Cash smart contract addresses to the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list, the US Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) blacklist.
As clarified by Eléonore Blanc, the founder of CryptoCanal, who attended Wednesday’s hearing in court, Alexey Pertsev will remain under home surveillance pending trialbut will at least be free to be able to prepare his defence:
🕊️ @Free__Alexey IS FREE TO GO HOME 🕊️
Next Wednesday 26th, he can await his trial at home with electronic monitoring.
The most important thing is that he can walk around and work on his defense, something that was virtually impossible while detained.
— Eléonore Blanc 🔜 #ETHDam (@blockblanc) April 20, 2023
So developer bail does after multiple refusals, the most recent having been pronounced last February. Thus, all is not yet won for the person concerned, who remains, despite everything, suspended from the decision of his upcoming trial.
👉 To go further — Find our explanatory video on the Tornado Cash case
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The debate over the legitimacy of mixers
As regulation gains momentum around the world, cryptocurrency mixers are particularly interesting case studies. Indeed, the accusations against Alexey Pertsev had been debated among the crypto community, given that Tornado Cash is a morally neutral tool.
While it is true that the mixer is indeed used by malicious people, it is also used by users concerned about protecting their privacy in an environment where every action is visible to all.
Note also that the protocol code is open sourceand that its temporary ban on GitHub had raised questions about free speech.
More recently, developer Ameen Soleimani showed off a fork of Tornado Cash, including a code update that helps ward off malicious users with zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) technologies. Therefore, such solutions might actually be able to balancing privacy and compliance.
👉 Also in the news — European Parliament votes in favor of MiCA and paves the way for first large-scale regulation
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