The United States Treasury Department said that “interactions” with Tornado Cash’s open-source cryptocurrency mixing platform would not run afoul of sanctions imposed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, with certain provisions.
In the manual posted The Treasury Department on its FAQ page on Tuesday clarified some of the concerns previously expressed by many US-based cryptocurrency users regarding the controversial Tornado Cash mixer. According to the government department, US residents would not violate the sanctions by copying the mixer’s code, or by making it available online or published through any other medium.
“U.S. sanctions regulations should not prohibit visitors to the Internet archives of the historic Tornado Cash website, nor would they be prohibited from visiting the Tornado Cash website if it becomes active again on the Internet,” the Treasury Department said.
The Treasury Department said users can generally interact with the Tornado Cash code, provided it does not involve a prohibited transaction. Those who initiated transactions using a mixer before the sanctions imposed on August 8, can apply for an OFAC license to complete a transaction or to withdraw:
“OFAC would have a favorable licensing policy toward such applications, provided the transaction does not involve other sanctionable conduct.”
The apparent uncertainty over US sanctions and how companies were expected to comply came amid multiple platforms removing or restricting the activities of individuals linked to Tornado Cash. One of the co-founders of the mixer, Roman Semenov, announced on August 8 that his bill has been suspended on the GitHub development platform. At the time, he suggested that his interaction with the Tornado Cash code may have been part of the reason, questioning “is it now illegal to write open source code?”
Here is the list of Tornado Cash sources that have been banned
– Tornado Cash @GitHub organization
– personal @GitHub TC contributor accounts
– Everything $ USDC about Tornado Cash contracts @circlepay
– @infura_io RPC
– @AlchemyPlatform RPC
– https://t.co/SHvgEjTOMV domain @eth_limo
— ️ Tornado.cash ️ (@TornadoCash) August 9, 2022
Others have tried to use the US legal system to thwart the Treasury Department’s actions. Sep 8 Coinbase announced that she would support the lawsuit brought by Tornado Cash users against the Treasury alleging that it illegally sanctified the crypto mixer’s smart contract addresses.