Tornado Cash Source Code Is Back On GitHub


✍️ 13 October, 2022 - 11:19 👤 Editor: Jakub Motyka

  • Github restored the Tornado Cash code and profile to their website.
  • The Treasury Department made a clarification about the scope of the sanctions, which do not apply to just the source code.
  • OFAC-listed Tornado Cash wallets and accounts that interact with them continue to be sanctioned.

GitHub, the compendium of apps and tools for developers, has restored Tornado Cash's profile and source code. This, after the US Treasury Department clarified the scope of the sanctions imposed on the protocol. According to the FAQ post, the ban does not involve the platform's source code. This allows it to be possible to be copied and modified without problems.

Let us remember that the Treasury Department sanctioned the cryptocurrency mixer, Tornado Cash, due to its participation in a wide variety of hacks. Using the platform's tools, the attackers transferred the stolen money to different wallets, making it impossible to trace the funds. For this reason, both the protocol and 44 associated wallets were added to the OFAC list.

What Prompted GitHub's Actions Against Tornado Cash?

Motivated by sanctions from the Department of the Treasury, Github closed the accounts of the protocol and its developers immediately. However, after the clarification, the main developer of Ethereum, Preston Van Loon, lobbied to lift the ban.

The GitHub platform has removed the ban on the Tornado Cash organization and its developers. This does not mean that the protocol will work normally again, it will only be allowed to disclose its source code through the platform. However, it is in “read-only” mode, which implies that no further development of the project will be allowed.

What Will Happen To The Tornado Cash Platform?

At the moment, there are no signs that the Treasury sanctions will change, and it is unlikely that Tornado Cash will return to normal operation. However, its source code is used for educational purposes at Johns Hopkins University, by Professor Matthew Green. He stressed that "the loss or decrease in the availability of this source code will be detrimental to the scientific and technical community".

The US Department of the Treasury has indicated that its sanctions do not seek to prohibit the technology and the elements that compose it, such as crypto privacy and ZK technology. However, the misuse that can be given to these should not be overlooked, as is the case of money laundering done through Tornado Cash.

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