The US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has listed crypto mixer Tornado Cash into its sanction list for laundering over $7 billion worth of crypto since 2019.
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The regulator said in a press release that the smart contract helped North Korean hackers Lazarus Group launder $455 million of stolen crypto. Moreover, Tornado Cash reportedly helped launder over $96 million from the Harmony bridge heist as well as $7.8 million from the Nomad bridge hack.
Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson says the mixer failed to impose "effective controls" designed to stop it from laundering funds for malicious cyber actors on a regular basis. He added:
"Treasury will continue to aggressively pursue actions against mixers that launder virtual currency for criminals and those who assist them."
Thus, Treasury blacklisted 39 ETH and 6 USDC addresses. This is far from the first time the watchdog sanctions decentralized application over sanctions violation.
In May this year, the Treasury Department sanctioned another crypto mixer Blender.io for helping the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) launder cryptocurrencies that were stolen from the Ronin Network.
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