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Vitalik Buterin Donates 30 ETH to Tornado Cash Legal Defense Fund

Vitalik Buterin Donates 30 ETH to Tornado Cash Legal Defense Fund

Vitalik Buterin’s wallet donated 30 ETH to support Tornado Cash developers’ legal defense fund amidst privacy tool crackdowns.

A wallet linked to Ethereum’s co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, has contributed 30 Ether, valued at approximately $113,000, to support the legal defense fund for Tornado Cash developers. This contribution was made through Juicebox, an open-source cryptocurrency crowdfunding platform. Moreover, the funds aim to assist developers Alexey Pertsev and Roman Storm in their ongoing legal battle to prove their innocence.

As of now, the legal defense fund has amassed around 591 Ether, reflecting a substantial $3,761 per ETH. The primary objective of this fund is to provide robust legal support for the Tornado Cash developers, currently involved in a court case following accusations of violating Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations. Pertsev, in particular, faces a challenging situation, after authorities sentenced him to five years by a Dutch court on charges of money laundering.

The Ongoing Struggle for Crypto Privacy

The broader crypto community, including prominent figures like Buterin, has consistently advocated for the importance of privacy in cryptocurrency transactions. Buterin’s support for privacy-enhancing tools on Ethereum is well-documented, making his recent donation to Tornado Cash’s legal defense fund unsurprising. Tornado Cash enables users to conduct anonymous crypto transactions, a feature that appeals to privacy-conscious individuals but also attracts scrutiny from law enforcement agencies.

In August 2022, the United States Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned Tornado Cash, citing its use by criminals to launder stolen or hacked funds. Additionally, this sanction led to the arrest and charging of Tornado Cash’s founders, marking a significant point of contention between the crypto community and regulatory bodies.

Impact on Privacy-Focused Cryptocurrencies

The crackdown on Tornado Cash is part of a broader trend of law enforcement targeting privacy-centric tools and cryptocurrencies. Privacy coins like Monero have faced delisting from major exchanges globally, highlighting the regulatory pressures on privacy-focused technologies. Despite these challenges, the crypto community remains steadfast in its belief of decriminalizing developing and using privacy tools.

Crypto advocates argue that arresting developers for creating privacy-focused software undermines fundamental human rights and stifles innovation. Furthermore, this sentiment echoes the community’s long-standing support for figures like Ross Ulbricht, the creator of the Silk Road marketplace, who is currently serving a double life sentence without parole for non-violent crimes. Lastly, the campaign for Ulbricht’s release has even garnered attention from political figures, with former President Donald Trump pledging to pardon him if re-elected.

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