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Arbitrum DAO Votes on $1.3 Million Funding to Defend Tornado Cash Developers Amid Legal Battle

The Arbitrum DAO is currently holding a vote on a proposal to allocate significant funds for the legal defense of Tornado Cash developers, Roman Storm and Alexey Pertsev.

This move, initiated by a delegate known as DK on March 7, could see the community donating up to 600,000 ARB tokens, valued around $1.3 million, in its first year to support what is described as a “robust legal defense.”

This fund also aims to cover public relations and advocacy to enhance understanding and support for privacy technologies, as well as the legal challenges developers face in the sector.

The delegate stated, “By rallying support for their legal fund, we aim to safeguard not only the future of privacy-preserving technologies but also the broader principles of innovation, decentralization, and individual sovereignty within our industry.”

The DAO has introduced a three-tiered voting system for this proposal, with funding options ranging from 200,000 to 600,000 ARB tokens.

At this point, over 80% of votes favor the highest funding tier, with voting scheduled to close on March 14.

READ MORE: Tencent Cloud Partners with UAE’s RAK DAO to Boost Startup Growth in Crypto-Focused Economic Zone

Tornado Cash has been embroiled in controversy, accused of facilitating the laundering of over $1 billion in illicit funds, including those linked to North Korean hackers, leading to significant legal and operational challenges, including being placed on U.S. sanctions lists.

This has spurred a debate within the crypto community about the nature of decentralization and the role of developers in potentially facilitating illegal activities.

Advocates for Tornado Cash, however, argue that the platform simply provides decentralized financial services and should not be classified as a money transmitter, drawing on FinCEN guidelines that suggest anonymizing software providers are not money transmitters.

Nonetheless, Storm and Pertsev face severe legal charges in the U.S., including conspiracy to commit money laundering and sanctions violations, with potential prison sentences of up to 20 years for some charges.

This legal support initiative follows the cancellation of a GoFundMe campaign intended to raise legal funds for the developers, which was halted due to terms of service violations, highlighting the complexities and controversies surrounding the use of privacy-preserving technologies within the blockchain and cryptocurrency domains.

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Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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