The integration comes on the heels of coin mixers drawing heat from the Western countries that have imposed sanctions to cripple Russia’s economy and penalize President Vladimir Putin, high-ranking officials, as well as individuals who have benefited from his regime.
As per the official tweet, the move aims to block sanctioned addresses by the US financial intelligence and enforcement agency, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), from accessing the decentralized application.
OFAC contains a list of sanctioned crypto wallets.
While maintaining that financial privacy is of utmost importance, Tornado Cash also acknowledged that it should not come at the cost of non-compliance.
Roman Semenov, the founder of the protocol, clarified that the changes apply to the front-end only and not the smart contracts. The exec said the “smart contracts are immutable.”
A blockade on the front-end demonstrates a halfway restriction after Semenov noted that “it is technically impossible” to impose sanctions on decentralized protocols.
Tornado Cash, known for obfuscating the money trail, is one of the very few protocols to have emerged as an Ethereum staple since its inception nearly two years ago.
However, the bad press surrounding the protocol isn’t new, as it has been treated with suspicion since its very launch.
To top that, its connection with the unpreceded $655 billion security breach on blockchain bridge Ronin Network wherein the exploiter reportedly moved the stolen Ether (ETH) stash through privacy protocol does not help its cause either.
Chainalysis co-founder Jonathan Levin recently testified before the US Senate, during which the exec revealed that the company did not find any substantial evidence of Russians evading sanctions using cryptocurrency.