Tornado Cash developer challenges conviction in Dutch court Tornado Cash developer challenges conviction in Dutch court

Tornado Cash developer challenges conviction in Dutch court

Crypto mixer Tornado Cash remains in use by the crypto community despite the legal issues facing its founders.

Tornado Cash developer challenges conviction in Dutch court

Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate. Image includes combined content which may include AI-generated content.

Tornado Cash developer Alexey Pertsev has reportedly filed an appeal with the Dutch s-Hertogenbosch Court of Appeal following his recent conviction on money laundering charges.

The appeal follows Pertsev’s May 14 sentencing to a 64-month prison term by a Dutch court. The court found him guilty of laundering approximately $1.2 billion through the Tornado Cash crypto mixer between July 2019 and August 2022.

Pertsev’s appeal was filed within the 14-day window mandated by the court for challenging its ruling. However, approval and scheduling for the appeal hearing may entail a considerable period, potentially stretching into months. Pending the commencement of the appeal proceedings, Pertsev remains free on bail.

Pertsev’s conviction had attracted steep criticism from crypto stakeholders who viewed it as an affront to privacy, crypto, and open-source technology. Joel Valenzuela, a business development officer for Dash, said:

“Tornado Cash is a smart contract on Ethereum which provides much-needed privacy to users. After it was deployed, anyone could interact with it, and no one could prevent anyone from using it. Because a certain amount of known hacked or sanctioned funds used the protocol, its founders came under threat.”

Meanwhile, the ramifications of his sentencing could reverberate in the ongoing trials of the protocol’s co-founder in the United States. In August 2023, the Department of Justice (DOJ) indicted Tornado Cash co-founder Roman Storm on money laundering charges and violations of sanction laws.

Tornado Cash is still in use

Despite the protocol founder’s ongoing legal troubles, the crypto community still uses Tornado Cash. The host of the Proof of Decentralization Podcast Chris Blec said:

Alex Pertsev received a 5 year prison sentence but Tornado Cash is still operating and being used on Ethereum and thereโ€™s not much the government can do about that.”

Furthermore, a recent United Nations report also noted that the North Korea-backed Lazarus Group was also using the platform for its illegal activities. According to the report, the hacker group laundered $147.5 million through the crypto mixer in March 2024.

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