Tornado Reports suggest that the US Treasury has expanded its list of sanctioned cryptocurrencies and associated addresses. More than 40 cryptocurrency wallet addresses were added to the OFAC sanctions list due to their purported association with Tornado Cash (Office of Foreign Asset Control).
Tornado Cash is a well-known cryptocurrency mixer that has been linked to multiple fraud schemes. As far as I know, this is not the first time the United States has banned cryptocurrency wallet addresses.
The US Treasury has blacklisted a number of cryptocurrency exchanges and wallet addresses, including those for ether and US dollars.
The OFAC announced on the 8th of August that it had banned Tornado Cash, a cryptocurrency mixer, for use by citizens of the United States. In addition, 44 ETH and USDC addresses associated with the mixer were blacklisted.
The organization designated them as SDNs, or Specially Designated Nationals. It has been reported that since 2019, criminal organizations and individuals have stolen over $7 billion through the site.
Among these sums is the rumored $455 million stolen by the Lazarus Group in North Korea. The DeFi platform was also used by fraudsters to commit exploits and hacks.
A separate attack in February on the Wormhole platform caused a $375 million loss. The Horizon Bridge attack in June also comes to mind, in which hackers made off with over $100 million.
In a recent statement, Secretary of State for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said:
Meanwhile, Tornado Cash has publicly promised to fix the problem on multiple occasions. However, it has not implemented a foolproof safeguard against the practice of money laundering by fradulent individuals. As a result, con artists regularly use it as a conduit for stealing money from victims.
And the Sanctions Keep Coming From OFAC Against Crypto Mixers
Nelson also stated that the department would maintain its harsh penalties for cryptocurrency “mixers” who engage in cryptocurrency laundering. Also targeted are those who provide aid to the criminals.
In addition, the United States Department of Justice has taken action against yet another cryptocurrency mixing platform, Blender.io, in the month of May. According to the OFAC, Blender.io was responsible for processing more than $20.50 million of the $620 million stolen from the Ronin Bridge.
Approximately 173,600 ETH or USDC $25 million. The agency has froze the assets of individuals and companies in accordance with its sanctions. Further, it forbids their use by people in the United States.
Tornado Cash announced last month that it is striving for full openness and decentralization. Because of this, it has released the source code for its user interface to the public.
Also, a compliance instrument has been included on the Tornado Cash website. Insight into the origin of all cryptocurrency transactions is provided by this handy tool. It would appear that the platform’s efforts were fruitless.\