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Early Tornado Cash Contributor Builds Improved Version of Blacklisted Coin Mixer – Here's How it Works

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Half a year after lead developer Alexey Pertsev was arrested in the Netherlands, the Tornado Cash coin mixer has been rebuilt and redeployed as Privacy Pools.Originally the thought-child of Vitalik Buterin, Tornado Cash serves to meet demand for a privacy-focused coin mixer on Ethereum.Initially kicked off with promise of grants from the MolochDAO.

Tornado Cash was developed as only the second zkSNARK deployment in history.The ambitious project came together in just 3 weeks - in what has been described as a flurry of rage - after trouble securing funding from the MolochDAO.Community hopes ran high, as the dApp passed through development audits quickly.But crisis struck the project when North Korean hackers stole $620m from top GameFi project Axie Infinity on March 29 2022.As hackers began to clean the loot, anti-money laundering controls kicked in and on May 8 2022 the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) sanctioned 'blender' a custodial coin mixer - alleged to have been used to clean $20m in stolen crypto.Not long after, on August 8, OFAC were knocking on the doors of Tornado Cash.With the project hit by similar sanctions on allegation that the dApp had been used to launder $100m of stolen funds by the North Korean hacker group.Just day later, Tornado Cash' lead developer Alexey Pertsev was put in handcuffs in the Netherlands on accusation of money laundering.Denied bail, the programmer remains in Dutch prison more than 6 months later - for little more than writing code.Community efforts have rallied around the @free_alexey twitter account to support his release.

This included a 200 ETH donation from Moloch DAO.This hasn't stopped US regulators banning US citizens from using Tornado Cash - proving the age old idiom

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