Crypto Community Rallies: Arbitrum DAO Votes on $1 Million Defense Fund for Tornado Cash Devs


The cryptocurrency community is taking a stand for developer rights and privacy-preserving technologies. The Arbitrum DAO, a decentralized autonomous organization governing the Arbitrum blockchain network, is currently voting on a proposal to allocate a significant sum towards the legal defense of Tornado Cash developers Roman Storm and Alexey Pertsev.

The proposal, submitted on March 7th by a pseudonymous delegate, seeks to raise up to $1.3 million (600,000 ARB tokens) to fund a “robust legal defense” for Storm and Pertsev. The funds could also be used for public relations and advocacy efforts to raise awareness about privacy tools and the legal hurdles faced by developers in the crypto space.

“By rallying support for their legal fund,” the proposal states, “we aim to safeguard not only the future of privacy-preserving technologies but also the broader principles of innovation, decentralization, and individual sovereignty within our industry.”

The community response has been overwhelmingly positive, with over 80% of votes cast so far favoring the highest funding tier. Voting closes on March 14th.

US Crackdown on Crypto Mixing Sparks Debate on Developer Liability

Storm and Pertsev, the creators of Tornado Cash, a cryptocurrency mixing platform, are facing serious legal challenges. Tornado Cash has been accused of facilitating money laundering, including transactions linked to the North Korean hacking group Lazarus Group. These accusations have resulted in the platform being sanctioned by the US government, effectively barring US citizens from its use.

However, supporters of Tornado Cash argue that the platform is simply a tool for anonymous money transfers, similar to cash itself. They maintain that the code is open-source and anyone can use it for legitimate or illegitimate purposes. Crypto advocacy groups like Coin Center further emphasize that regulations don’t classify anonymizing software providers as money transmitters.

Despite these arguments, Storm and Pertsev face potential prison sentences of up to 20 years for conspiracy to commit money laundering and sanctions violations. The proposal argues that “these challenges not only threaten the developers’ ability to continue their work but also undermine the fundamental principles of decentralization and individual freedom.”

The Arbitrum DAO’s vote comes on the heels of a similar setback for the Tornado Cash developers. A crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe intended to raise funds for their legal defense was recently shut down due to violation of Terms of Service.

Also Read: Worldcoin Fights Back: Lawsuit Challenges Spanish Ban on Data Collection

This situation highlights the ongoing friction between technological innovation and legal frameworks within the crypto industry. The Arbitrum DAO‘s vote signifies a potential turning point, demonstrating the community’s commitment to supporting developers and defending privacy-focused technologies.

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