Coin Center to ‘Engage’ with OFAC over Tornado Cash Ban

Coin Center is a non-profit organization, which is solely focused on the policy issues relating to crypto assets.

On August 15th, it published a blog post stating that it was looking into the legality of the recent ban imposed on Tornado Cash by the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) of the US Treasury.

Peter Van Valkenburgh and Jerry Brito of Coin Center published the post and said that the Treasury Department’s OFAC had exceeded its statutory authority when it treated autonomous code as a person.

Tornado Cash sanction

The director of research at Coin Center Peter Van Valkenburgh and the executive director, Jerry Brito had plenty to say on Monday in their blog post.

They discussed whether a smart contract or an autonomous code could be treated the same way as a person.

The two believe that the decision of the OFAC to sanction Tornado Cash was some sort of a signal from the US government.

They believe it is to inform US citizens that certain software and tools should not be used by people, even for legitimate reasons.

Exceeded authority

The blog post from Coin Center stated that they believe the OFAC has exceeded its legal authority by sanctioning Tornado Cash and other smart contract addresses.

It also said that constitutional rights were violated due to this action and that OFAC had not taken steps to mitigate the future impact of this move on American citizens.

Coin Center also believes that the designation that OFAC of autonomous contract addresses is over its statutory authority in accordance with IEEPA.

It insisted that the first amendment could be attacked with an overboard and vague interpretation of IEEPA.

The blog post said that if the SDN list continues to expand with names of open source applications and protocols, then it would be a ban on free speech.

Engaging with the OFAC

Coin Center also went on to say that it had no intention of letting the matter rest. It said that it would engage with the OFAC, express its own views and hear those of OFAC authorities to assess the situation.

The non-profit went on to add that inquiries had also been made about the situation by members of Congress and Coin Center would make an effort to keep them updated on the subject.

Apart from that, the organization is also planning on helping innocent American citizens who may have had their funds locked on the Tornado Cash platform.

It intends to assist them in obtaining a license that would allow them to remove Ethereum legally.

The non-profit organization said that they were talking about litigation efforts they would make in order to get a court to challenge this action.

The announcement of the ban on the Ethereum mixing service came as a surprise and had an impact on the prices of a number of privacy coins. OFAC has taken this step to prevent criminal and illegal activities from being conducted with the help of the mixer.