On Wednesday, the U.S. Government indicted Tornado Cash developers Roman Storm and Roman Semenov for three counts of conspiracy involving a staggeringly large number: $1 billion in criminal proceeds. The U.S. Department of Justice attached North Korean hackers to a large portion of this sum, alleging that Tornado’s privacy tech enabled nefarious deeds. Amanda Tuminelli, chief legal officer of the DeFi Education Fund, joins the show to assess whether the U.S. Government got it right or is merely misguided in its understanding of how blockchain technology works. Should Tornado Cash devs be held to account for the criminal use of their software?

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, or on your favorite podcast platform.

Show highlights:

  • why the U.S. Government says the cofounders of Tornado Cash facilitated money laundering
  • what the difference is between the concealment of potential proceeds of a crime versus the facilitation of that crime
  • why Amanda believes that if the government understood the technology they wouldn’t be making these allegations
  • whether the charges and the indictment will have implications for all software developers
  • whether these allegations could mark the “end of DeFi” in the U.S.
  • whether front-end applications in DeFi will need to mandate KYC checks for all users
  • how the charges appear to contradict earlier FinCEN guidance
  • how the DOJ will use the involvement of North Korean hackers to “make it look bad” for the jury
  • what the future of the case will look like and whether there will be a motion to dismiss the indictment

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Read the episode transcript here