In brief

  • The developers of Ethereum crypto mixer Tornado Cash have proposed issuing a governance token called TORN.
  • According to the plan, a certain portion of TORN will be airdropped to the project's early supporters.
  • The holders will be able to make proposals and vote to change the protocol.

The developers of Tornado Cash, an Ethereum crypto mixer focused on privacy, have unveiled a new proposal that aims to give some control over the platform to its users, according to a Medium post published today.

“Tornado.Cash has been fully autonomous and decentralized, but it’s static—it has no way to evolve. This is a proposal to change that. If this proposal is adopted, then the governance of Tornado.Cash will be entrusted to its users,” said the post, adding, “This way, the users of Ethereum will control their own privacy protocol.”

While the creators of Tornado Cash are not positioning it as a mixing service specifically, it works pretty much as one. Essentially, it breaks the on-chain link between the source and destination addresses and utilizes zero-knowledge proof technology to hide users’ transaction details. 

Ethereum tokens (ETH) come in on one end, get mixed around, and exit on the other end—without revealing any details in-between. In other words, whatever happens in Tornado Cash, stays in Tornado Cash.

To transfer control over to users, the developers proposed to issue special governance tokens called TORN. Token holders will be able to make proposals and vote to change the protocol. However, only early adopters and founding developers will be eligible for the airdrop and distribution.

“TORN will be airdropped to all addresses that made deposits into Tornado.Cash ETH pools before block 11400000. TORN will be airdropped in the form of a non-transferable TORN voucher (vTORN) that can be redeemed 1:1 to TORN within 1 year,” the developers explained.

Additionally, larger and older deposits will receive more TORN—up to a 4X multiplier for deposits with 100 or more ETH.

If Tornado Cash’s community supports the proposal, a total of 10 million TORN will be issued and distributed between early users and adopters, founding developers, and the DAO Treasury.

The proposal for TORN distribution
The proposal for TORN distribution. Image: Tornado Cash

“TORN is not a fundraising device or investment opportunity. It will remain non-transferable until the community decides that unlocking transfers via a governance vote, not earlier than 45 days following deployment, would comply with all applicable laws,” the developers stressed.

As Decrypt reported, Uniswap, a popular decentralized exchange for swapping Ethereum-based tokens, similarly launched its governance tokens—UNI—in September, setting a new standard for decentralized finance. At the time, it airdropped around 113 million UNI, worth around $422 million today. If it happens, the Tornado airdrop will be smaller, but it still might generate some buzz.