Circle has blacklisted several Tornado Cash related wallet addresses. The USDC in these wallets has been frozen due to special sanctions by the US Treasury Department.
Following US Treasury Department sanctions on crypto mixers, Center – the consortium behind stablecoin USD Coin (USDC) has blacklisted wallet addresses controlled by Tornado Cash.
Data from Etherscan shows that the Center has frozen at least 75,000 USDC by placing the Tornado Cash wallet on the sanctions list. Among these addresses is the Tornado Cash USDC pool. Accordingly, holders of USDC deposited on Tornado Cash may not be able to withdraw their funds.
“Circle is a regulated company and is subject to sanctions compliance requirements. We have blocked addresses associated with Tornado Cash as specified by OFAC.” The company said in an email.
The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned Tornado Cash for its alleged involvement in money laundering cases. Specifically, since 2019, Tornado Cash is said to have been used by hackers to launder more than $7 billion in “dirty” cryptocurrency. That includes $455 million stolen by North Korea-linked Lazarus Corporation.
During 2022, the protocol has also been at the center of a number of hacks and exploits in the decentralized finance sector: the attack that caused $375 million in damage to Wormhole in February and the $100 million hack with demand. connecting Horizon in June.
By blacklisting Tornado Cash-related wallet addresses, owners cannot receive or transfer USDC from those addresses.
Previously, in July 2020, this company froze wallet addresses containing about 100,000 USDC at the request of law enforcement. In the comments section of Etherscan, the user claimed that the owner of this address stole the token from him.
In addition to Circle’s actions, Tornado Cash’s Github website and account appear to have gone down in the hours since OFAC’s announcement.