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Developers could be punished for code created to commit crime, says Dutch regulator

18 Aug, 20223 min readRegulation
Developers could be punished for code created to commit crime, says Dutch regulator

Netherlands’ Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD), which arrested a Tornado Cash developer on Aug. 12, said that developers could be held responsible if they created a code for the “sole purpose” of committing a crime or facilitating criminals.

The FIOD’s statement, provided to DeFi Education Fund, was posted by the advocacy group on Twitter on Aug. 17.

🚨 New info from the Netherlands agency that arrested tornado cash developer Alexey PertsevWe wanted to get this *troubling* statement from the FOID out there (which raises more questions than it answers) while we're chasing down more info + assessing next stepsh/t @sccanavos — DeFi Education Fund (@fund_defi) August 17, 2022

The FIOD has not released the name of the arrested developer. However, it is largely speculated that the arrested developer was Alexey Pertsev, according to the claims of his wife Ksenia Malik.

The FIOD had previously told the DeFi Education Fund that the arrested Tornado Cash developer was suspected of obscuring criminal money flow and facilitating money laundering.

The regulatory agency’s comments could have far-reaching implications for all software developers, who could be held responsible for potential illicit uses of their software, the Defi Education Fund said.

In an exclusive quote to CryptoSlate, the DeFi policy and advocacy group said:

“Tornado Cash was routinely used for legitimate purposes. While we are still waiting for the specific charges against the developer to be released, one thing must remain clear. Writing and publishing code must be protected in free societies and privacy is not a crime.”

Moreover, the DeFi Education Fund also questioned the FIOD’s assumption that Tornado Cash was built for the “sole purpose” of committing crimes.

Trouble everywhere

Cryptocurrency mixer service Tornado Cash was sanctioned by the U.S., following which the decentralized organization (DAO) behind the project had to shut down. The decision to shut the DAO was taken to protect contributors, even developers outside the Tornado Cash ecosystem, a contributor to the mixer previously told Cryptoslate.

Crypto exchanges have rushed to block addresses associated with Tornado Cash following the sanction.

Monika first started reading about crypto in 2020 and kept going deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole. While she is always skeptical of new projects, she earnestly believes blockchain and the crypto industry can bring relief to some of the most pressing problems of our time, including financial inequality and transparency. She is a voracious reader, and her fondness for food only rivals her love for books. Monika was previously a reporter at Jumpstart Media and Forkast News.

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