GitHub Bans Tornado Cash Repositories Under OFAC Guidelines


Crypto mixer Tornado Cash has returned to the software development platform GitHub after being banned from the website for several weeks.

Ethereum developer Preston Van Loon took to Twitter on Thursday to report that GitHub has partially defunct the Tornado Cash organization and contributors on their platform. The developer suggested that Tornado Cash’s code repositories are now in read-only mode, meaning GitHub has yet to restore full functionality.

“But that’s progress from an outright ban. I still encourage GitHub to undo all actions and return the repositories to their previous state,” said Van Loon.

According to GitHub data, the latest updates to Tornado Cash repositories were made on August 22, or shortly after Tornado Cash co-founder Roman Semenov reported that his account was on the platform. On August 8, the United States Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) banned U.S. residents from using Tornado Cash and blacklisted 44 USD Coin (USDC) and Ether (ETH) addresses associated with the mixer. .

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Tornado Cash’s return to GitHub came shortly after OFAC clarified its Tornado Cash policy on Sept. 13, stating that US residents would not violate sanctions by copying the mixer’s code or making it available online. The OFAC also noted that U.S. individuals would not be banned from accessing the Tornado Cash website if it becomes available online again.

Tornado Cash is based on the Ethereum blockchain and is a tool that allows users to hide their crypto transactions to protect their anonymity by obscuring information traces on the blockchain. The Ethereum mixer came under scrutiny from global regulators following the OFAC ban, leading to arrests of Tornado Cash developers for alleged involvement in money laundering through the platform.

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The ongoing controversy surrounding Tornado Cash has raised many questions in the cryptocurrency and developer community, with many people concerned about legal issues associated with writing open source code. Some major crypto firms also backed down against the Treasury Department’s actions, with Coinbase Exchange deciding to support a lawsuit filed by Tornado Cash users against the OFAC.

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As previously reported, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin publicly claimed that he was using Tornado Cash to donate money to Ukraine to protect the financial privacy of the recipients.