Key points to remember
- GitHub has lifted the ban on Tornado Cash, restoring the platform’s code and profile to its website.
- Last week, the Treasury clarified that the sanctions against Tornado Cash did not apply to its code.
- Tornado Cash addresses are always sanctioned and interacting with these addresses is prohibited by law.
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The Ethereum The Tornado Cash coin mixer code has returned to GitHub after being away for over a month.
Tornado Cash Code is back online
The code for Ethereum’s popular coin mixer is back on GitHub.
On August 8, the U.S. Treasury pronouncement of sanctions against Tornado Cash addresses. This led to GitHub banning accounts from the service and its developers almost immediately.
Last week, the Treasury clarified that the penalties against Tornado Cash only apply to the Ethereum addresses of the coin mixer, not the code behind the app itself. These clarifications stated that although Tornado Cash transactions are prohibited, “interacting with [the] the open-source code itself… is not illegal.
GitHub presumably took note of this itself or had the update brought to its attention by the community.
At least one high profile person has advocated for the restoration of Tornado Cash. Lead Ethereum developer Preston Van Loon lobbied for the ban to be lifted on September 13. noted today that GitHub has now “de-banned the Tornado Cash organization and contributors on [its] Platform.”
The return of Tornado Cash to GitHub does not mean that development of the coin mixer will continue as usual. All pages under the main project heading profile are labeled as public archives – a status that could be waived but which implies that no further development is permitted.
“It looks like everything is in ‘read-only’ mode, but that’s a step up from an outright ban,” Van Loon noted. He urged GitHub to completely restore the account’s old status.
A separate unofficial archives Tornado Cash code has been on GitHub since August 24th. This archive was created by Matthew Green, a professor at Johns Hopkins University.
The future of Tornado Cash remains uncertain despite these developments. Penalties on Tornado Cash addresses that prohibit its use remain in place, but users can still access the service due to its decentralized nature.
Disclosure: At the time of writing this article, the author of this article owned BTC, ETH, and other cryptocurrencies.