GitHub unbans Tornado Cash repositories following OFAC guidance

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Cryp­to mix­er Tor­na­do Cash has returned to the soft­ware devel­op­ment plat­form GitHub after sev­er­al weeks of being banned on the website.

Ethereum devel­op­er Pre­ston Van Loon took to Twit­ter on Thurs­day to report that GitHub has part­ly unbanned the Tor­na­do Cash orga­ni­za­tion and con­trib­u­tors on their plat­form. The devel­op­er sug­gest­ed that Tor­na­do Cash’s code repos­i­to­ries are now in read-only mode, which means that GitHub is yet to restore full functionality.

“But that is progress from an out­right ban. I still encour­age GitHub to reverse all actions and return the repos­i­to­ries to their for­mer sta­tus,” Van Loon stated.

Accord­ing to GitHub data, the lat­est Tor­na­do Cash repos­i­to­ries updates were made on Aug. 22, or short­ly after Tor­na­do Cash co-founder Roman Semen­ov report­ed that his account was on the plat­form. On Aug. 8, the Unit­ed States Office of For­eign Asset Con­trol (OFAC) banned U.S. res­i­dents from using Tor­na­do Cash and black­list­ed 44 USD Coin (USDC) and Ether (ETH) address­es asso­ci­at­ed with the mixer.

Tor­na­do Cash’s return to GitHub came soon after the OFAC clar­i­fied its poli­cies around Tor­na­do Cash on Sept. 13, declar­ing that U.S. res­i­dents would not be vio­lat­ing sanc­tions by copy­ing the mixer’s code or mak­ing it avail­able online. The OFAC also not­ed that U.S. per­sons would not be pro­hib­it­ed from vis­it­ing the Tor­na­do Cash web­site if it again becomes avail­able online.

Based on the Ethereum blockchain, Tor­na­do Cash is a tool allow­ing users to hide their cryp­to trans­ac­tions to pro­tect their anonymi­ty by obfus­cat­ing infor­ma­tion trails on the blockchain. The Ethereum mix­er came under scruti­ny from glob­al reg­u­la­tors after the OFAC’s ban, which trig­gered arrests of Tor­na­do Cash devel­op­ers for alleged involve­ment in mon­ey laun­der­ing through the platform.

Relat­ed: Tor­na­do Cash left a void, time will tell what fills it — Chainal­y­sis chief scientist

The ongo­ing con­tro­ver­sy around Tor­na­do Cash has raised a lot of ques­tions in the cryp­tocur­ren­cy and devel­op­er com­mu­ni­ty, with many peo­ple becom­ing con­cerned about legal issues con­nect­ed to writ­ing open-source code. Some major cryp­to com­pa­nies also pushed back against the Trea­sury Department’s actions, with Coin­base exchange decid­ing to sup­port a law­suit brought by Tor­na­do Cash users against the OFAC.

As pre­vi­ous­ly report­ed, Ethereum co-founder Vita­lik Buterin pub­licly claimed that he used Tor­na­do Cash to donate funds to Ukraine to pro­tect the finan­cial pri­va­cy of the recipients.

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