Tornado Cash DAO Inaccessible as Dutch Authorities Arrest the Platform’s Developer

Tornado Cash DAO is inaccessible after reports emerged that the decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) was discussing ways to circumvent sanctions by the United States Treasury Department. Before going offline, the DAO members had agreed to give the network’s governance layer rights to a multi-signature wallet allegedly holding over 21 million USD.

It’s not clear what caused the platform’s outage. However, it comes at a time when the crypto mixing service is facing increased scrutiny from regulators and cryptocurrency exchanges. The United States sanctioned the entity earlier this week. Circle, a crypto company, was among entities that withheld over 75K USD in USDC held in addresses associated with Tornado Cash and flagged by the Treasury Department. dYdX, another virtual currency entity, also disclosed that it had blocked accounts of users associated with the coin mixing platform.

Others like Alchemy have prevented access to Tornado Cash. Centralized entities disassociating themselves from the coin mixer extended their reach into communication networks. For example, GitHub reportedly suspended the coin mixer co-founder’s account. The network’s Discord page was also unavailable.

According to Columbia Business school’s Omid Malekan, sanctioning Tornado cash was “the first time” the United States government was prohibiting access to “software.” Notable individuals admitted to using the crypto mixing service include Ethereum’s co-founder, Vitalik Buterin. Buterin previously said that he used the service to donate funds to Ukraine during the early days of the Ukraine-Russia conflict. Despite the sanctions, some individuals are still using the service to seemingly water down the effects of the sanctions.

Dutch Authorities have since revealed that they arrested a 29-year-old individual suspected to be Tornado Cash’s developer. The authorities arrested the individual due to their role in facilitating criminals to send and receive funds. In a statement, the Dutch law enforcement officials said that they suspect the individual benefited from these transactions.