Once again, the cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash was blacklisted by the United States Treasury Department. Tornado Cash was “redesignated” as a sanctioned business by the Treasury Department, which openly said that North Korea utilized the crypto mixing service to finance its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) program.
In response to allegations that North Korea has laundered over $100 million worth of cryptocurrency via Tornado Cash to support its WMD program, including the development of ballistic missiles, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced on Tuesday that it would delist and designate the privacy tool.
The rebranding does not change the fact that the crypto mixer has been used to facilitate illegal cyber-enabled behavior that has originated from a country other than the United States. In particular, the Treasury noted that Lazarus Group made use of Tornado Cash in March in order to transfer stolen bitcoins worth a total of $455 million.
In addition to this, the Treasury Department imposed sanctions on two persons who are associated to Air Koryo, the state-owned airline of North Korea. Both of these issues are a part of the Treasury’s attempts to defund North Korea’s WMD development, and although they are not directly tied to one another, they are related.
While the Treasury is in the process of clarifying the sanctions, a non-profit fund advocating for cryptocurrency has launched a complaint against the OFAC about the penalties placed on Tornado Cash.
Compiled by Coinbold