Vitalik Buterin Donates 30 ETHs to support Tornado Cash Developers Alexey Pertsev and Roman Storm

vitalik buterin tornado cash
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  • Vitalik Buterin has donated 30 ETH, valued at $113,000, to Juicebox to support the legal defense of Tornado Cash developers, Alexey Pertsev and Roman Storm.
  • The defense fund has so far raised approximately 591 Ether, showing the community’s solidarity towards the persecuted developers.
  • Tornado Cash, a crypto privacy tool, has been sanctioned by the OFAC and its developers face money laundering charges.

A wallet associated with Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, has transferred 30 ETH, valued at $113,000, to Juicebox, an open-source crypto crowdfunding platform. The funds are intended to support the legal defense of the crypto mixer Tornado Cash developers, Alexey Pertsev and Roman Storm, who face serious charges related to violations of anti-money laundering regulations.

The fund has so far raised approximately 591 Ether, which will be used to finance the defense of Pertsev and Storm in their legal battle. This fundraising campaign is a testament to the solidarity within the crypto community towards the developers, who are being targeted by illegitimate legal persecutions by the authorities.

Tornado Cash is a privacy tool that allows users to make crypto transactions anonymously. Although its primary goal is to protect user privacy, the tool has been exploited by criminals to launder illicitly obtained funds. This situation attracted the attention of the United States Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which sanctioned the use of the platform in August 2022. Subsequently, Alexey Pertsev was arrested and sentenced by a Dutch court to five years in prison on money laundering charges.

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Vitalik is a Pillar of Privacy Defense

The intervention by the authorities is highly controversial. Developers should not be held responsible for the misuse of their inventions, which highlights the true motive behind the attack on Pertsev and Storm: control and deterrence. Many veterans of the sector, including Vitalik Buterin, have firmly defended privacy in crypto transactions and have promoted various proposals to enhance privacy on the Ethereum network. Buterin’s contribution to the Tornado Cash legal fund is not surprising given his history of supporting tools that enable greater privacy and autonomy for crypto users.

The crackdown on privacy tools has had a significant impact on the crypto community. Monero, a privacy-focused cryptocurrency, has been delisted from many major exchanges due to regulatory pressures. Despite these challenges, the crypto community maintains that arresting software developers for writing code and treating them as criminals is unjust and disproportionate.

Another notable case is that of Ross Ulbricht, creator of the online marketplace Silk Road. Ulbricht is serving two life sentences without the possibility of parole for non-violent crimes. The community has been staunch in its defense of Ross, even attracting the attention of political figures like former President Donald Trump, who has promised to consider pardoning Ulbricht if re-elected.


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