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.