Is the Office of Foreign Assets Control’s Sanctioning of Tornado Cash a Threat to the Future of Financial Privacy?

Tornado Cash is an open source, decentralized cryptocurrency tumbler that was introduced in 2019.  The service allows users to mix identifiable Ethereum cryptocurrency funds with others, thus obscuring the trail back to the funds original source.  On August 8, 2022, the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned Tornado Cash, making it illegal for United States citizens, residents, and companies to receive or send money through the service.  OFAC claims that Tornado cash is responsible for laundering more than $7 billion in virtual currencies, including money believed to be stolen by North Korea and criminal groups.

As opposed to sanctioning people, organizations, or particular addresses associated with rogue regimes, OFAC has sanctioned the code of Tornado Cash itself, causing critics to claim that OFAC has exceeded its statutory authority .

In this webinar, experts discuss OFAC’s blacklisting of Tornado Cash, potential litigation from opponents, and the broader implications for financial privacy, national security, and free speech.

Paul Brigner

Head of U.S. Policy and Strategic Advocacy

Electric Coin Company

Michael Mosier

General Counsel

Espresso Systems

Kevin Werbach

Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

J.W. Verret

Associate Professor of Law

Antonin Scalia Law School

Financial Services & Corporate Governance

Federalist Society’s Financial Services & E-Commerce Practice Group

The Federalist Society and Regulatory Transparency Project take no position on particular legal or public policy matters. All expressions of opinion are those of the speaker(s). To join the debate, please email us at [email protected].

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