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On August 9, an anonymous user started sending 0.1 ETH to wallets of noted individuals and companies right after the Tornado Cash ban by the U.S. government. What seems to be a prank might lead the wallets’ holders to a 10-to-30-year jail sentence or fines of $50,000 to $10,000,000.
On August 8, cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash was added to the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) list. Hence, all the Ethereum wallet addresses associated with the platform were added to the Cyber-related Designation sanctions registry. Approximately $437 million of assets were blocked.
Following the sanctions, any interaction with Tornado Cash’s addresses is considered illegal for U.S. citizens, residents, and entities. This includes Gitcoin donations, downloading or running Tornado’s software, and visiting the website.
At the time of writing, the list of well-known individuals who received 0.1 ETH via Tornado Cash includes TV host Jimmy Fallon, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, artist Beeple, DJ Steve Aoki, Logan Paul, Dave Chappelle, Shaquille O’Neal, Randi Zuckergerg, and sportive brand PUMA. More than that, anonymous individual(s) sent funds to a wallet dedicated to Ukraine Crypto Donations.
The platform has reportedly been used for money laundering since 2019. However, not everyone used the cryptocurrency mixer for such purposes. Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin has shared in a tweet that he sent donations to Ukraine via Tornado Cash in order to protect the recipients’ financial privacy.
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