What’s Up Tornado — Our Own Easter Egg Hunt to Push Away Scammers

One of the main quests of Tornado Cash is to hand over the ownership of privacy to its lawful owners. It is also one of the main reasons why the WUTornado team is so fond of this tool. We find it a real honor to be part of & contribute to a protocol and a community that serves one of our own core values: the right to choose when & with whom we want to share our private information.

Such a precious right is even more relevant in a blockchain & cryptocurrency world where a consistent paradox has formed.
On the one side, the digital environment allows anyone to create a whole new numerical identity out of the blue. This new identity can be completely unrelated to the real one. We would even say that this ability of being anonymous is at the very heart of blockchains. Isn’t that right, Satoshi Nakamoto?
On the other side, blockchains are built upon a full-transparency mantra. Therefore, once this numerical identity is set, the individual loses total control over privacy as an unfortunate side effect of transparency.

These two forces - privacy & transparency - oppose each other almost every day in this new digital ecosystem we evolve in. So, where should we place the cursor? 🌡
What about placing it at the will of each person? Anyone should have the choice of where to put the boundary between privacy & transparency. Tools such as Tornado Cash merely give us this ability to earn back the right to choose. Therefore, we are very comfortable asserting that transparency should never come at the cost of privacy. This privacy allows us to maintain financial freedom & ownership over our lives (digital or physical ones). However, we also strongly believe that privacy should never come at the cost of upholding the law.

Unfortunately, some news & stories come to tarnish the image of privacy tools such as Tornado Cash. As any other tool in the physical & digital world, they can be used by the wrong people with unlawful intentions. Privacy is, indeed, a basic right to keep our freedom. However, these ill-intentioned people will always seek ways to disguise their actions and weaponize privacy.

Community members of Tornado Cash DO NOT support such unlawful usage of the tool. It stands miles away from the values conveyed by the DAO. You cannot imagine how infuriating it is to notice that a few people can call into question both Tornado Cash’s reputation & our own usage of the protocol. So, privacy? YES. But, not at all costs. Indeed, it should never come at the cost of others or to serve unlawful & malicious purposes.

Tornado Cash is a powerful tool, no one will dare deny that. However, as a wise philosopher that we particularly appreciate once said: with great power comes great responsibility. The protocol doesn’t shy away from this responsibility.

The very existence of the Tornado Cash compliance tool shows that anyone using Tornado Cash can prove the origin of anonymized funds. Availability of this feature immediately shifts the responsibility of usage to us: users. As we can easily re-establish the chain of custody of our funds when needed, we are responsible for whether or not to reveal such precious information and to whom. Anonymous was never the synonym of non-compliant or illegal.

And even after introducing the compliance report feature, Tornado Cash doesn’t seem to want to stop here. A few days ago, a twitter announcement was made by the protocol team:

Tornado Cash uses @chainalysis oracle contract to block OFAC sanctioned addresses from accessing the dapp.
Maintaining financial privacy is essential to preserving our freedom, however, it should not come at the cost of non-compliance.

Tornado Cash’s intention never was and never will be to serve scammers & outlaws. Its main mission is to allow you & me to get back a right that was taken from us by the force of circumstances.

Unfortunately, as much as a knife can help you cook a magnificent coq au vin, it can also help your neighbor hurt someone. Should we deprive ourselves from ever using a knife or should we try to prevent the malicious user from getting his hand on one? The answer to this question seems pretty obvious to us. And if you are more leaning towards the first option, it is clearly because you never tasted a coq au vin before. 🍗

Anyway, in fewer words, we are proud to be part of a protocol that doesn’t endorse unlawful behaviors & that is constantly looking for ways to act against them. 💚


Anonymously yours,
the WUTornado team (ayefda & bt11ba)



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