Alexey Pertsev, the core developer of the crypto mixing platform, Tornado Cash has shared his first ever tweet since he was arrested and incarcerated in Amsterdam by the Dutch security forces. The arrest of the developer back in August last year sparked an uproar in the crypto ecosystem and the tweet shared might imply he has finally regained his freedom.
Sorry I was afk for a while, what did I miss? 👀
— Alexey Pertsev (@alex_pertsev) April 28, 2023
With details of his release still unclear, it was hinted that Alexey was billed to regain his freedom earlier this month, an assurance that came following a series of failed attempts.
The United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets and Control (OFAC) banned Tornado Cash last year when it linked the mixing tool to crime rings including the notorious North Korean Lazarus Group. The OFAC sanction at the time alleged that Alexey’s invention has been used to launder as much as $7 billion worth of cryptocurrencies.
Tornado Cash operates as a decentralized tool which obscures the identity of senders and receivers by mixing the deposited funds in a pool and sending it out in ways that makes it almost impossible to trace the parties involved in the transaction. Following the ban and subsequent arrest of the protocol and Alexey, the crypto ecosystem rose in solidarity and criticized the US regulators.
Most importantly, supporters of Alexey noted that sanctioning a piece of code is one thing, cracking down on the individual who created the code can legitimately sniff out innovation. Riding on these and more premises, OFAC and the US government were subsequently dragged to court.
Getting a New Lease of Life
Being incarcerated for his invention has earned Alexey a lot of nicknames in the industry with some seeing him as one of the martyrs of the disruptive financial innovation that blockchain is bringing on board.
The shared tweet was seeking to know what he missed and as an active developer in the industry, Alexey has a lot to catch up including the events bordering the Ethereum ecosystem following the Merge, the Shapella Upgrade and the more intense crackdown from regulators especially in the US.
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