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Dutch Judge Orders Tornado Cash Dev to Stay in Jail for 3 More Months

The Tornado Cash developer has been ordered to stay in holding for another 90 days. It's still unclear what he has been charged with.

2 min read
A Tornado Cash developer was apprehended in Holland. Image: Shutterstock.

Alexey Pertsev, a Tornado Cash app developer who was recently apprehended by Dutch police over suspected money laundering charges, has been ordered to stay in prison for an additional 90 days.

“It is not clear what arguments they had for not releasing him under house arrest,” Xenia Malik, Pertsev’s wife, told Decrypt. “Lawyers confirmed [the additional 90-day holding], but I haven’t seen any official documents.”

Pertsev was denied bail after being apprehended for 15 days. According to Dutch law, suspected lawbreakers can stay in pre-trial holding for up to 110 days, during which charges and an initial public hearing must be set.

As of August 17, no charges have been filed against Pertsev, according to DeFi Education Fund. The group supports DeFi-friendly policies, advocating for the use of decentralized open-sourced data like Tornado Cash’s code.

Ethereum app Tornado Cash sanctioned

Pertsev was arrested on August 10 by the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD), the agency responsible for investigating financial crimes in Holland. 

The agency charged him with suspicion of facilitating “money laundering through the mixing of cryptocurrencies through the decentralized Ethereum mixing service Tornado Cash,” the FIOD’s report read. 

This arrest came shortly after the United States sanctioned Tornado Cash, with suspicious links to North Korean state hacker group Lazarus Group, as well as allegedly being involved with laundering $7 billion since 2019.

Tornado Cash is an Ethereum-based privacy protocol that hides any identifiable information about crypto transactions.

This app is also open-sourced and publicly available to use, as is most coding in the Web3 and crypto space, leaving many to question what could happen to the state of open-sourced software and privacy within the industry.

The community has been quick to take action, with a Change.org petition circulating protect open-sourced software, as well as a protest on Sunday in Amsterdam to support the developer. 

“Open-source software–which was published under free licence and can be used by anyone and for any purpose–has always been a major driver for innovation in the tech sector,” according to the petition. 

Regulators and crypto firms have also spoken out in favor of Pertsev, with Congressperson Tom Emmer of Minnesota urging Treasury Secretary Yellen to rethink the Tornado Cash sanction, tweeting, “technology is neutral and the expectation of privacy is normal.”

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