News - Vitalik Buterin contributes 30 ETH to developer's release

By Mike Hesp

Vitalik Buterin contributes 30 ETH to developer's release

Ethereum (ETH)
Scams, crime and fraud

The indicted developers of the crypto-mix service Tornado Cash receive prominent support from Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin.

Vitalik Buterin is promising Tornado Cash developers financial help in their lawsuit against the US. Through the crowdfunding platform Juicebox, a wallet address, believed to belong to the Ethereum co-founder, made a donation of 30 ETH (about US$110,000) to the two programmers. The money will benefit the "Legal Defense Fund" from the developers and should cover litigation costs. Currently, about 594 ETH is in the pot (just over US$2.2 million).

The trial of the developers of the mixing service Tornado Cash is sparking outrage in large parts of the crypto community. Roman Storm and Alexey Pertsev have been in pre-trial detention for nearly two years. While the criminal trial against Storm was to begin in September, a Dutch court sentenced Pertsev to five years and four months in prison two weeks ago.

The trigger for the lawsuit was the sanction imposed two years ago by the US on the mix service Tornado Cash. The developers are accused of complicity in money laundering and terrorist financing. Criminal organizations such as the North Korean hacker group Lazarus regularly use the platform for dubious purposes.

In the crypto community, however, this lawsuit is met with outrage. The argument: the code of the underlying smart contract is not responsible for the criminal activities of individual actors. In contrast, the US argues that in several cases the defendants were very well aware of illegal activities on the platform and did nothing to stop them.

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