Tornado Cash Founder Remains in Custody Without Any Charges
A Dutch court ruling has determined that Alexey Pertsev, the creator of Tornado Cash, an open-source crypto-mixing protocol, will remain in detention until his next hearing on April 21.
The East Brabant, Holland court has also scheduled a pre-trial review for May 24. Pertsev was arrested by Dutch authorities in August, shortly after the US Treasury sanctioned Tornado Cash, alleging that the service facilitated the laundering of funds for malicious cyber actors, including a hacking group that the FBI linked to North Korea.
Tornado Cash is accused of laundering a total of $7 billion, including $455 million stolen by the North Korea-linked Lazarus group.
Tornado Cash is an open-source protocol that enables users to pool their cryptocurrency funds, advocating privacy in mixing and pooling users’ funds within multiple wallets and offering anonymization services for cryptocurrencies.
Pertsev is accused of facilitating money laundering through the decentralized platform, according to the Dutch Ministry of Finance (FIOD).
However, he has not yet been formally charged with a crime and has been detained under a provision in Dutch law that permits people to be held for 110-day intervals without being formally charged.
Despite three unsuccessful appeals, many prominent blockchain developers have expressed support for Pertsev online, sharing links to the FreeAlex.nl page and a change.org petition that has garnered over 5,000 signatures.