ArbitrumDAO is weighing a proposal to fund the legal defense of Tornado Cash developers, Roman Storm and Alexey Pertsev. 

Published to the DAO’s discussion forum by Arbitrum contributor Joseph Axisa on Wednesday, the proposal’s objective is to provide “robust legal defense” for Storm and Pertsev as well as “to uphold the rights of developers to contribute to their deployment of permissionless open-source software.” 

The proposal comes 18 months after the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned Tornado Cash, because of its role in helping North Korea’s state-sponsored hacking group, Lazarus Group, launder billions of dollars in cryptocurrencies. 

Shortly after OFAC sanctioned the blockchain-based privacy protocol that conceals the origin or destination of crypto transactions, Pertsev was arrested in Amsterdam by the Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) for his involvement in developing Tornado Cash. The FIOD is a government agency in the Netherlands tasked with investigating financial and economic crimes. 

Read More: Coinbase-Backed Appeal Seeks Roll Back of Tornado Cash Sanctions

A year later in Aug. 2023, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York charged Storm with conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to violate the International Economic Emergency Powers Act, and conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money-transmitting business. 

According to the ArbitrumDAO proposal, a snapshot vote will take place on Saturday, March 9, where ARB token holders can vote on whether to fund the legal defense for Storm and Pertsev. If community members vote to fund, they can choose various funding levels with 600,000 ARB worth about $1.28 million at the maximum or a minimum of 200,000 ARB, valued at $428,000. 

If the snapshot vote passes, the proposal will advance to an onchain vote to ratify the allocation of ARB tokens to support the legal defense of the Tornado Cash developers.  

“The defense of Roman Storm and Alexey Pertsev is not just a matter of protecting individual rights but a testament to our collective commitment to preserving the principles of innovation, decentralization, and individual sovereignty within the industry,” the proposal stated. 

“By supporting their legal fund, we affirm our dedication to upholding these principles and defending the right of developers to contribute to the deployment of permissionless open-source software without fear of reprisal or censorship.”