Tornado Cash Joins the Club of Blacklisted Companies in the U.S.

Cryptocurrency mixing service Tornado Cash has been blacklisted in the United States. However, this is not the first time the United States has imposed a ban on a company. The following companies have also been slapped by the authorities.

Key points to remember

  • US authorities have blacklisted the crypto mixing service Tornado Cash.
  • Tornado Cash allows users to make private transactions on the Ethereum network.
  • Tornado Cash was responsible for the $625 million hack of Axie Infinity’s Ronin Network in March 2022.

Tornado Cash

Tornado Cash is a website that offers its customers the ability to disguise the source of their cryptocurrencies when involved in a transaction The US Treasury Department banned all Americans from using the website because it played a central role in laundering billions of dollars worth of crypto. It had been one of the main tools exploited by hackers, the most notable being the $625 million hack of Axie Infinity‘s Ronin Network in March by North Korea-based Lazarus Group.

Some hail the ban as a necessary measure to combat crypto crime, but privacy advocates strongly oppose it. For example, Tornado Cash co-founder Roman Semenov tweeted that his Github account had been suspended. He added: “Is writing open source code now illegal?”

Blender.io

Similar to Tornado Cash, Blender.io is a cryptocurrency mixer created in 2017. He received a sanction from the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control in 2022 for allegedly aiding the Lazarus Group, a group of hackers linked to the North Korean government. According to the Treasury Department, this was the first sanction they have ever imposed on a cryptocurrency mixer.

Pegasus

Pegasus spyware was designed to sneak into targets unnoticed, allowing intelligence agencies to access target data without being traced. Last year, the US Department of Commerce announced that American companies would no longer sell their technology to NSO, the company that built Pegasus.

DJI and other Chinese companies

DJI is a drone manufacturer based in China. The US Treasury Department restricted DJI’s operations last year for their role in human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic and religious minorities in Xinjiang. This prevented US investors from buying or selling stocks. Brain Nelson, the undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said at the time that U.S. investors were opposed to such activities.

In 2020, under the Trump administration, 23 Chinese companies were added to the blacklisted companies. Among the banned companies were Amryfly, Beijing E-Science, Kindriod, Leon Technology, Wingel Zhang and others. The ban was also linked to human rights abuses in northwest Xinjiang.

Kaspersky Lab

Earlier this year, the US Federal Communications Commission blacklisted Kaspersky Lab over cyber espionage, national security and the invasion of Ukraine. This disappointed the company as the authorities strictly banned its antivirus software. He said in a statement that the decision was not based on a technical assessment but rather on political considerations.

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