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Tornado Cash: US Treasury sanctions cryptocurrency ‘mixer’ allegedly used by North Korea for money laundering

Tornado Cash has reportedly laundered more than $7 billion in cryptocurrencies since its launch in 2019, including $455 million from Lazarus Group, according to senior Treasury officials. North Korean State-backed hacking group. It was also used for money laundering, like last week. Nomad “robbery”, The U.S. cryptocurrency company, officials said.

Monday’s sanctions will prevent U.S. persons and persons under U.S. jurisdiction from using cryptocurrency mixers.

Cryptocurrency mixers take a large number of transactions and mix them before sending them to their final destination, making it difficult to track where the money came from and where it is going.

Tornado Cash has made several efforts to comply with regulatory mandates, including adding screening tools to prevent transfers to previously licensed cryptocurrency wallets, a senior Treasury official said. .But nevertheless, public law enforcement analysis Cryptocurrency The deal showed that hackers such as Lazarus Group could send money to Tornado Cash for laundering, officials said.

As part of Monday’s action, 44 cryptocurrency wallets linked to Tornado Cash were authorized by the US government. A Treasury Department official said Tornado Cash had previously been identified as an organization of concern, but it remains unclear where the organization is based and what individuals may be running it. It did not disclose whether there were any.

“Despite public guarantees, Tornado Cash is designed to prevent money laundering for malicious cyber attackers on a regular basis without basic measures to address the risks. “We have repeatedly failed to impose effective controls over the country,” Brian Nelson said in a statement. “The Treasury will continue to take aggressive action against mixers laundering cryptocurrencies for criminals and their supporters.”

Tornado Cash is one of the largest cryptocurrency mixers identified by the US government, according to Treasury officials. It’s his second time the Department of Justice has sanctioned such an entity.

In May, the Treasury Department sanctioned, another cryptocurrency mixer, accusing North Korea of ​​using it “to support malicious cyber activities and money laundering of stolen cryptocurrencies.” Stated.

Officials said they hope Monday’s sanctions will send a message to the private sector and partner countries to encourage them to formulate regulations when it comes to cryptocurrencies.


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