US Treasury sanctions crypto mixing service Tornado Cash for aiding hacker money laundering efforts

Tornado Cash has been cited for things such as aiding in laundering money from the recent Harmony Bridge and Nomad Heists.

In a press release today from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), it’s been revealed that virtual currency mixer Tornado Cash has been officially sanctioned following reports it’s been used to launder “more than $7 billion worth of virtual currency since its creation in 2019.”

The report goes on to note that Tornado Cash has been used to launder more than $96 million of funds derived from the June 24, 2022 Harmony Bridge Heist, and at least $7.8 million from the August 2, 2022 Nomad Heist. Outside of these notable infractions, things including Tornado Cashing failing to impose effective controls to stop these sorts of circumstances from taking place are mentioned.

With today’s sanctions, all interests in Tornado Cash property located in the U.S. or in the possession of individuals in the U.S. “is blocked and must be reported to OFAC.” Blocks in place elsewhere include entities owned, directly or indirectly, “50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.”

For more on other blocked areas and the consequences of these recent OFAC sanctions against Tornado Cash, be sure to read through the full press release.

Shows a hand holding a cell phone, on the phone screen is the Tornado Cash app with an area to deposit or withdraw tokens such as ETH.
© Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

After getting up-to-date on what’s going on with Tornado Cash, we’re curious to hear your thoughts. Are you surprised to hear about the sanctions? Let us know in Chatty! And for more on what else is going on in U.S. government departments, be sure to read through some of our previous coverage such as how a bill to boost U.S. chip production recently passed in the Senate.

Senior Editor

Morgan is a writer from the frozen wastelands of Maine who enjoys metal music, kpop, horror, and indie games. They're also a Tetris fanatic who's fiercely competitive in games like Tetris 99... and all games in general. But mostly Tetris. You can follow Morgan on Twitter @Author_MShaver.

Hello, Meet Lola