Crypto ‘Mixer’ Tornado Cash Blacklisted By Treasury


Crypto mixer Tornado Cash has been blacklisted by the US Treasury Department, which has accused it of facilitating money laundering activities. This move has sparked controversy, and in this blog post, we will examine what Tornado Cash is, why it was blacklisted, and the potential ramifications for the crypto industry.

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What Is Crypto ‘Mixer’ Tornado Cash?

The US Treasury Department has blacklisted Tornado Cash, a cryptocurrency ‘mixer’, for allegedly helping launder over $7 billion of virtual currency since 2018. These mixers allow users to move their cryptocurrencies around anonymously, offering privacy and security. However, federal regulators have stated that cyber criminals have used these services to launder money and evade taxes.


As a result, US persons and entities are now prohibited from using Tornado Cash’s services or face severe penalties, including a “lockdown provision” on any assets held within the US financial system. This sanction has had an impact on cryptocurrency users, and it is important for those considering using anonymous crypto mixing services to understand the terms and conditions and research alternative options.

How Crypto Mixing Works And Its Impact On Privacy

Crypto mixers or ‘tumblers’ use cryptography and blockchain technology to allow users to anonymize their cryptocurrency transactions, protecting their privacy by preventing their transaction histories from being traced back to them. However, the recent blacklisting of Tornado Cash by the Treasury has caused speculation regarding the privacy implications of using a crypto mixer. Tornado Cash allegedly laundered $7 billion of virtual currency, leading to sanctions that prohibit US persons and companies from doing business with them.

While some argue that authorities can outsmart crypto mixers, the complexity of many cryptocurrency networks makes them virtually untraceable. Some argue the decision will decrease the attractiveness of cryptocurrencies due to criminal activity, while others maintain that it will increase trust levels in digital assets for mainstream adoption. The long-term impact remains to be seen.

Why Was Tornado Cash Blacklisted By Treasury?

The Treasury Department blacklisted Tornado Cash due to its role in money laundering. The service provided anonymity to users who moved their tokens around, which was exploited by cyber criminals. Tornado Cash was identified as an unregistered Money Service Business and Money Exchanger during an OFAC investigation. The company did not comply with US regulatory framework, and suspicions were triggered by anonymous transactions related to $1 billion in cybertheft activities since 2019.


Despite claiming compliance with Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering efforts, Tornado Cash did not have a licensed registration with FinCEN. The decision to blacklist Tornado Cash highlights the importance of abiding by national laws, even when seeking anonymity in financial transactions. Companies offering such services must ensure proper registration under FinCEN before operating within US jurisdiction.

What Does This Mean For The Crypto Space?

The US Department of the Treasury has blacklisted cryptocurrency mixer, Tornado Cash, attributing it to having facilitated the laundering of over $7 billion of virtual currency. Financial institutions in the US are now barred from transactions with Tornado Cash, while sanctioned entities are also prohibited from all property and interests in property under US jurisdiction. Privacy in the cryptocurrency industry is now at the forefront of the conversation, as other services that provide similar services are expected to face similar sanctions in various countries, leading to stricter regulations for privacy services offered by cryptocurrency businesses.

The debate continues on whether such operations should be monitored or controlled by governments to curb illegal activities such as money laundering or tax evasion. The blacklisting of Tornado Cash is not isolated, having followed the blacklisting of Wasabi Wallet earlier this year, with calls for enhanced oversight and regulation of cryptocurrency mixers.


The US Treasury Department’s decision to blacklist the crypto mixer Tornado Cash highlights the need for financial institutions and cryptocurrency businesses to comply with national laws and regulations. The incident also raises questions about privacy in the crypto industry and whether services offering anonymity should be monitored or controlled by governments. Those considering using anonymous crypto-mixing services must understand the terms and conditions of each service and take necessary steps to protect their funds while remaining compliant with applicable laws.

Businesses offering such services must register under the FinCEN regulatory framework before operating within US jurisdiction to ensure compliance with regulations. It is now more essential than ever for all stakeholders in the cryptocurrency industry to work together towards global adoption while protecting investors from frauds and scams.

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