The latest manifestations of an anti-crypto wave include the sanctioning by the Feds of Tornado Cash and deplatforming crypto content creators by Mailchimp.
The U.S. Treasury Department placed Tornado Cash on its blacklist. This bans Americans from using Tornado Cash as it has been “used to launder more that $7 billion worth virtual currency since its inception in 2019.” Separately, the crypto publishers woke up Tuesday to discover that newsletter provider Mailchimp had removed accounts without warning. Our reporting revealed that Mailchimp had done this to a number of other crypto publishers over the past few weeks, including Messari, Edge Wallet, and Edge Wallet.
These two events are vastly different in scale. The news of Tornado Cash’s sanctioning has rocked crypto industry. However, our newsletter woes are not of much interest to anyone other than crypto media. Mailchimp was used to ban a number of crypto accounts in 2018, which is shameful.
They are part of a larger anti-crypto movement from the government to the corporations. If it doesn’t change, the backlash will spread to open-minded normies very soon.
Crypto haters have a lot of evidence to point out that the entire industry is fraud, a scam and a joke thanks to the current bear market, including the collapses at Terra, Celsius and other junky projects.
Even worse, the government seems to have concluded that crypto is a criminal tool. There are legitimate privacy-oriented reasons for using a crypto mixer such as Tornado Cash.
The Tornado Cash sanctioning has become a litmus-test for companies and projects to determine whether they want to comply immediately or fight non-compliance. Many projects are failing this test, according to crypto O.G.s and true degens.
No one should be surprised to learn that GitHub shut down the Tornado Cash founder’s account and removed Tornado Cash’s source code. Microsoft owns GitHub. Mailchimp is also owned by Intuit. Many large Web 1.0 companies have decided that crypto is not for them (even though some luxury brands such as Tiffany’s or Gucci are moving to crypto).
It wouldn’t surprise if OpenSea did it. NFT users on Twitter claimed that their accounts were suspended because they used Tornado Cash. OpenSea did not confirm the claim and simply stated Decrypt in an statement: “We comply US sanctions law.” OpenSea’s Terms of Service prohibit individuals, countries or services that are sanctioned from using OpenSea.
Surprisingly, the decentralized exchange blocking wallets is associated with Tornado Cash.
Many will be asking themselves what the next step is and how they can use it to decentralize their projects.
Regular people need to know that tokens can be sent to anyone’s wallet with a public address. It’s therefore excessively and unjustifiable for services to ban all wallets that hold crypto from Tornado Cash. “dusting” a bunch celebrities’ crypto wallets containing small amounts of Ethereum that have been through Tornado Cash.
However, Web3 builders aren’t keen to see their company closed down or worse: sent to prison in order to show how wrong the government really is about crypto. That’s fair enough.
Many crypto advocates have noted that the government is now targeting code creators and individuals, not just companies or individuals. Mailchimp is being investigated. I believe it’s not exaggerated to suggest that banishment of crypto content publishers en masse constitutes censorship.
We are witnessing the beginning of a war against crypto.