May 19, 2024


Legal authorities in the Netherlands have rejected the appeal to release Alexei Pertsev, the chief developer of the Tornado Cash protocol was arrested and remanded by Dutch Authorities shortly after the United States Treasury Department sanctioned the protocol alongside as many as 44 of its associated addresses.



The rejection of the appeal was faulted by Ksenia Malik, the wife of Alexei who noted that injustice was evident as the authorities did not even hear the appeal of the embattled developer. Citing her fears, Malik said the authorities are planning to auction Alexei’s properties with plans to leave her with nothing.


According to the current state of things, Alexei is likely to stay in custody until the end of November before the next hearing. When asked whether the Dutch officials can confiscate the personal properties of an untried suspect, Malik said the current actions of the prosecutors show they can.


“At the moment, only a car, but I think they can come and take something else at any moment. I don’t feel safe,” she said. Prosecutors will sell “all of our legal property at auction, leaving me with nothing.”


The arrest of Alexei Pertsev has sparked a lot of protest amongst crypto advocates as the sanction of Tornado Cash has also been condemned by a coalition of industry stakeholders. The defense is that Alexei should not be held accountable for developing an open source code, irrespective of how it is used by people.


Tornado Cash is used as a cryptocurrency mixer that can be used to obfuscate the origin and destination of funds in a bid to enhance user privacy. While notable personalities like Ethereum co-founder, Vitalik Buterin said they have used the mixing tool to shield their identities in the past.


However, the Treasury Department said the protocol has been used to launder as much as $7 billion with some linked to the North Korea hacking syndicate, Lazarus Group.

Image source: Shutterstock


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