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Tornado Cash Co-Founder Fights Back: Denies Money Laundering and North Korea Conspiracy Charges


Roman Storm, a co-founder of the cryptocurrency mixing service Tornado Cash, has forcefully denied accusations of money laundering and conspiring with North Korea.

On Friday, March 29, 2024, Storm’s legal team filed a motion to dismiss. They argue that Storm, as the founder, built Tornado Cash as a privacy tool and is not responsible for its potential misuse.

Lazarus Group Tornado Cash Usage is Unavoidable

The motion refutes allegations of Storm’s involvement in the laundering of over $1 billion and challenges claims of conspiring with North Korean cybercrime groups. Storm’s attorneys assert that these accusations are baseless.

They emphasize that the idea behind Tornado Cash’s creation was to enhance the privacy of cryptocurrency users.

“By the time that Lazarus Group allegedly began using Tornado Cash two years later, Tornado Cash was immutable, meaning it could not be altered to prevent use by Lazarus Group or anyone else with an Internet connection,” Storm’s attorney wrote.

Therefore, the defense motion seeks the dismissal of the entire indictment, echoing Storm’s previous plea of not guilty.

OFAC’s action sparked debate among the crypto community, arguing that the case sets a dangerous precedent for developers of privacy-focused software within the crypto ecosystem. Big industry players, like Coinbase, also supported Tornado Cash.

In April 2023, Coinbase voiced its support for reopening Tornado Cash’s access for the US citizen. They even claimed that they would support the legal process from a financial perspective.

This action from the crypto community and industry players is understandable. It is crucial to consider the potential impact of the Tornado Cash case on the principle of decentralization, which is one of the core values of the crypto industry.

However, the US government is not the only jurisdiction tough on crypto mixers. BeInCrypto previously reported that the South Korean government has restricted crypto mixer services.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, Roman Storm, the co-founder of Tornado Cash, has vehemently denied accusations of money laundering and conspiring with North Korea. His legal team has filed a motion to dismiss the charges, arguing that Tornado Cash was created as a privacy tool and that Storm is not responsible for its potential misuse. The defense maintains that the accusations against Storm are baseless and that the primary goal of Tornado Cash was to enhance the privacy of cryptocurrency users. The case has sparked debate within the crypto community, highlighting the potential impact on the principle of decentralization in the crypto industry. Other industry players, such as Coinbase, have also supported Tornado Cash, emphasizing the importance of privacy-focused software in the ecosystem.

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