The United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned the on-chain privacy network and Ethereum-based cryptocurrency mixer, Tornado Cash, making it the second such service provider sanctioned by the agency.
A press release on Monday (August 8, 2022), announced that the OFAC updated its specially designated nationals (SDN), to include Tornado Cash. According to a statement by Brian E. Nelson, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence:
“Today, Treasury is sanctioning Tornado Cash, a virtual currency mixer that launders the proceeds of cybercrimes, including those committed against victims in the United States.”
Nelson added that the crypto mixer “failed to impose effective controls designed to stop it from laundering funds for malicious cyber actors on a regular basis and without basic measures to address its risks.”
According to the press release, Tornado Cash has laundered crypto worth over $7 billion since 2019, which includes more than $455 million stolen by the notorious North Korean hacker Lazarus Group.
This move comes as the OFAC earlier issued a sanction against another crypto mixer Blender.io, believed to be used by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
The Lazarus Group and other North Korean cyber crime syndicates are believed to be behind several high-profile crypto hacks including the $640 Ronin Bridge hack and the $100 million Harmony exploit.
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