Circle and GitHub comply with Tornado cash penalties

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Circle and GitHub comply with Tornado cash penalties

Key points to remember

  • Circle and GitHub are enforcing sanctions against Tornado Cash introduced by the US Treasury earlier today.
  • Circle has blacklisted the affected addresses, while GitHub has suspended the accounts of some developers.
  • Elsewhere, two blockchain advocacy centers have voiced their opposition to sweeping Treasury sanctions.

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Both Circle and GitHub have complied with recent US sanctions against Ethereum coin mixer Tornado Cash.

Companies apply penalties for tornadoes

Companies are starting to block Tornado Cash-related activity.

Earlier today, the US Treasury sanctioned 38 Ethereum addresses and 6 USDC addresses tied to Tornado Cash. It also sanctioned the project’s website to tornado.cash.

Now two companies have complied. Circlethe issuer of the stablecoin USDC, has blacklisted addresses on this list.

Although Circle has not officially commented on the issue, a robot which retrieves transactions involving the USDC blacklist function indicates that banned addresses are now blocked.

A estimate suggests that this blacklisting decision will freeze over 75,000 USDC ($75,000) belonging to Tornado users.

Elsewhere, Github has taken steps to comply with the sanctions, as it removed accounts belonging to Tornado developers, including Roman Semenov and Alexey Pertsev. “My GitHub account was just suspended”, Semenov wrote on Twitter today. “Is writing open source code now illegal?”

Several GitHub pages related to Tornado Cash have also been taken down, although it’s unclear whether these accounts were taken down on purpose or by GitHub itself.

Contrary to these compliance efforts, two blockchain advocacy centers have voiced their opposition to the sanctions.

Coin Center’s Jerry Brito critical Treasury policy on the grounds that it sanctions a “neutral” tool rather than a specific person accused of wrongdoing.

Jake Chervinsky of the Blockchain Association supported Coin Center’s argument, adding that the ban “crosses a line that the US government has always toed.”

Disclosure: At the time of writing this article, the author of this article owned BTC, ETH, and other cryptocurrencies.

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