Alexey Pertsev’s conviction is a conviction on anyone building privacy tools

Alexey Pertsev, one of the developers of Tornado Cash, was convicted after being arrested in 2022. According to Dutch judges, the developer is guilty of facilitating money laundering through the development of the Tornado Cash software.

Tornado Cash provides the technical capability to hide the act of money laundering, and therefore, in the Court's opinion, Tornado Cash cannot be seen as a mere tool for the user (but isn't that the very definition of a tool?).

This argument is extremely bold, especially considering that in the European Union, as well as in the United States, laws are in place specifically designed to exclude any liability for telecommunications and hosting service providers for the content that passes through their platforms.

If it applies to platforms and communication services that HAVE control over the information, it should apply even more so to a service like Tornado Cash, which does NOT have control over the same.

Due to the way Tornado Cash was designed and built, there is no other option — say the judges — but to consider its creators as accomplices in money laundering activities.

It follows, therefore, that if this argument prevails, anyone who develops privacy tools will be guilty of knowingly aiding criminals who use them. At the same time, anyone who chooses to use these tools will be considered a potential criminal.

More on this week's article here (it's free to read).

5 thoughts on “Alexey Pertsev’s conviction is a conviction on anyone building privacy tools”

  1. Washing money is illegal in any country.

    Unless the government gets their share.

    Thats what they’re guilty of, not giving the taxman a share.

  2. the money laundering angle with crypto is so disingenuous. where’s the concern about laundering fiat via shell companies and offshore accounts? these people act like crypto invented fraud. it’s nonsense.

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