Alexey Pertsev, a developer of Ethereum mixer Tornado Cash, has been found guilty of money laundering by a Dutch court and given a 64-month prison sentence.

A Dutch judge at s-Hertogenbosch court stated that Tornado Cash is “intended for criminals” and that “the criminal user is fully facilitated.” In turn, the developer has been convicted of laundering $1.2 billion in illicit assets.

Between July 9, 2019, and Aug 10, 2022 the court said that Pertsev made “a habit of committing money laundering”  with Tornado Cash and that he should have been more suspicious about the possible criminal origins of transactions on the platform.

His lawyers have 14 days to appeal the court's decision.


Crypto coin mixers obscure where money is being sent. Hackers do have a history of using them to launder illicit funds, but they're not exclusively used by criminals. Tornado Cash is one of the most well-known mixers, although it is not the only one.

Back in 2022, Pertsev was put in a Dutch jail after Tornado Cash was blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury Department. The co-founder of Tornado Cash, Roman Storm, was later arrested in 2023 by the U.S. Department of Justice with similar money laundering charges.

While the pair awaited trial, whistleblower turned international fugitive Edward Snowden vocalized his support for the Tornado Cash creators. Storm’s trial is set to take place in September.

Several figures in the industry have said they're very dismayed at the decision. "Ashamed of the Dutch judicial system," wrote CryptoCanal founder Eleonore Blanc on Twitter, "blind and deaf to the true innovation and genius of Alexey & [Tornado Cash]."


Another Crypto Twitter regular, the pseudonymous HodlMagoo, issued a warning: "Better dig in and get ready to fight everyone." Meanwhile, Encoin—a privacy project built on Cardano—worried aloud what the sentencing could mean for other privacy projects.

"Privacy is a human right," the team wrote on Twitter. "Open Source is not a crime"

Edited by Stacy Elliott.

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