Washington DC-based Blockchain Association filed an amicus brief in support of crypto think tank Coin Center’s lawsuit against the US Treasury Department over its sanctions against Tornado Cash.
Treasury sanctioned the crypto mixer in August, claiming that it laundered more than $7 billion worth of virtual currency and effectively banning Americans from using it.
Coin Center sued Treasury in October over that sanction and said the service has legitimate use cases.
Now, the Blockchain Association, along with the DeFi Education Fund, has argued in its brief on Friday in the US District Court for the Northern District of Florida, that the sanction has raised “serious regulatory and constitutional questions.”
“It’s critical to recognize that Tornado Cash is simply a tool – punishing the tool itself simply because it can be used by anyone, including bad actors, runs contrary to the values this country was founded upon,” said Kristin Smith, Blockchain Association CEO in a statement. “Blockchain Association stands with Coin Center, advocating for the responsible and lawful use of blockchain technology. Regulatory actions should only be targeted at bad actors who abuse this tool for illegal purposes.”
The association said financial privacy is essential for the digital asset industry.
“To avoid broadcasting their finances to the world, many digital asset holders have turned to privacy-protecting tools like Tornado Cash. Such tools allow users to reclaim privacy that would be available as a matter of course in other contexts, while retaining the benefits that come with using blockchain technology,” the association said in its brief.
Tornado Cash also helps users protect themselves from bad actors, the association argued, specifically if a user’s transaction shows wealth.
“And when the blockchain contains enough information for a user’s identity to be unmasked, these attacks can spill into the physical world, where digital asset users have been the victims of crimes ranging “from simple robberies to home invasions, kidnappings, torture, and even murder,” the association argued.