Coinbase upheld lawsuit against Tornado Cash cryptomixer ban

A group of plaintiffs in a case to lift sanctions imposed by U.S. authorities on cryptomixer Tornado Cash has filed a motion for summary judgment

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has upheld a lawsuit against the Tornado Cash cryptomixer ban. On April 5, a group of individuals filed a motion for summary judgment in the case against the U.S. Treasury Department to lift sanctions on the cryptocurrency protocol.

On August 8, the U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions against Tornado Cash. The agency’s OFAC division put the cryptocurrency protocol and related digital wallet addresses on the sanctions list (SDN). According to U.S. authorities, more than $7 billion in illicit cryptocurrency proceeds have been laundered through this mixing service since its inception in 2019.

In September, 6 people, including Coinbase exchange representatives Tyler Almeida and Nate Welch, appealed OFAC decision. In their view, the agency exceeded its authority. And its actions violate the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution on freedom of speech. The defendants in the suit are the U.S. Treasury Department, its head Janet Yellen, OFAC and its head Andrea Gaki.

Coinbase General Counsel Paul Grewal wrote that the plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment in part. In which they asked the court to “open Tornado Cash to all.” If the motion is granted, the judge will rule on some of the factual issues, leaving others for trial.

Grewal noted that the citizens who appealed “are among the thousands of law-abiding Americans Who want to protect their privacy but cannot do so because of government sanctions.”

A Coinbase lawyer recalled the plaintiffs’ arguments. They argue that the government cannot sanction Tornado Cash. That’s because it’s not a fore…-cryptomixer-ban/ign national or legal entity, it’s software. He also noted that the government can only legally sanction property, which the Tornado Cash code is not.

Our experts note that the rate of the token Tronado Cash (TORN) rose 14% after the news of the petition. The cryptocurrency’s value rose from $6.95 to $7.95

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ChipMixer cryptomixer was closed down by FBI and Europol

FBI and Europol disabled infrastructure of the ChipMixer platform. Bitcoins worth €44 million, servers and 7TB of data were confiscated

The FBI, Europol and law enforcement agencies of several European countries stopped the operation of the cryptocurrency mixing service ChipMixer. They also confiscated €44 million worth of Bitcoins, the EU police service said. German and U.S. authorities, supported by intelligence agencies in Belgium, Poland and Switzerland, have disabled platform infrastructure.

Four servers, 7TB of data and 1.9 thousand BTC (€44.2 million) were confiscated during the operation. The platform’s website is also no longer operational, and when you go to it, it is reported that the domain was seized by the FBI by order of a U.S. court.

Cryptomixers are blockchain services that increase the confidentiality of transactions by hiding the connection between the source and the recipient of the tokens.

According to Europol, ChipMixer, a service created in mid-2017 to anonymize BTC flows, offered complete anonymity to its customers. Law enforcement authorities speculate that the cryptomixer was involved in money laundering and allowed users to hide traces of crimes. Such as drug or weapons trafficking, ransomware attacks and fraud. The platform is believed to have laundered 152,000 BTC (about €2.73 billion).

Cryptomixing services are under close scrutiny by intelligence agencies. This is because they are often used by fraudsters, and many hackers send stolen digital assets to them after hacks to cover their tracks.

Our experts note that in August 2022, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed sanctions on Tornado Cash, the most famous cryptomixer. Which works on the Ethereum blockchain. For conducting money laundering operations through it by hackers from North Korea.

Also in August, alleged Tornado Cash developer Alexei Pertsev was arrested. He is still in custody awaiting trial. Cryptomixer itself was not shut down and continues to operate.

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