Someone is sending small amounts of ether (ETH) from sanctioned Tornado Cash wallets to a variety of wallets belonging to well-known crypto individuals and celebrities. This move appears to be some kind of protest against the protocol getting hit by US sanctions.
As noted by Astaria CTO Joseph Delong (the former CTO of SushiSwap), an individual is sending 0.1 ETH to a range of crypto wallets, primarily ones associated with ENS names and prominent crypto individuals. They have sent such amounts to EthHub co-founder Anthony Sassano, pseudonymous crypto trader Loomdart and Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong. Talk show host Jimmy Fallon, YouTuber Logan Paul and Mark Zuckerberg’s sister Randy Zuckerberg have also received amounts.
The ether is being sent from crypto wallets that were just yesterday sanctioned by the US Treasury. As a result, this could raise issues for the recipients. For example, if the ether is sent to a wallet belonging to a US-based entity, such as a crypto exchange, it’s possible they would need to freeze the funds.
While the individual doing so has not identified themselves — although one pseudonymous account did say they intended to do exactly this — it suggests that they have taken issue with the recent sanctions. Many crypto advocates have pushed back against the sanctions, calling it government overreach to sanction a protocol.
ShapeShift founder Erik Voorhees made this argument on Twitter yesterday. “Reality: [Tornado Cash] is not a person, nor a business entity. It’s an open-source software tool. It cannot be sanctioned, it does not respond to subpoena or legal request. It is privacy-seeking Americans who have been sanctioned.”
The sanctions have already affected many crypto users. For instance, Circle — which runs the stablecoin USDC — froze a pool of USDC held in the newly sanctioned wallets. This means many crypto users, who may have been making perfectly legitimate transactions, have had their money frozen.
“Seems like USDC has indeed blacklisted the @TornadoCash contracts, meaning if you had USDC deposited in Tornado you can not access it anymore even if everything you did was perfectly legit and legal,” Gnosis co-founder Martin Köppelmann said on Twitter.
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Tim is a News Editor at The Block who focuses on DeFi, NFTs and DAOs. Prior to joining The Block, Tim was a News Editor at Decrypt. He has earned a BA in Philosophy from the University of York and studied News Journalism at the Press Association. Follow him on Twitter @Timccopeland.