Blockchain Association Files Amicus Brief In DOJ’s Case Against Tornado Cash Developers

Washington, D.C. (April 5, 2024) – On Friday, April 5, 2024, Blockchain Association (BA) filed an amicus brief in United States v. Storm, highlighting the industry-wide repercussions of the deficient indictment filed against Tornado Cash developers Roman Storm and Roman Semenov.

In the brief, BA asserts that the prosecution fails to carry its burden to sufficiently plead facts supporting its unlicensed money transmitter charge, as the prosecution’s allegations cannot meet the law’s requirement that defendants exercised control over funds. Tornado Cash, a self-executing program on the Ethereum blockchain, operates without exerting control over transmitted digital assets and developers of the protocol do not maintain control over the protocol itself. 

This fundamental requirement is essential to establish liability as a money transmitter and is not present in the case. 

The following statement is attributed to Blockchain Association Head of Legal Marisa Coppel:

“Adoption of the government’s legal theory would not only have adverse repercussions for the digital asset industry but also raise serious concerns regarding fintech more generally. We urge the court to hold the government up to its burden and dismiss the unfounded charges, safeguarding both the defendants’ rights and the integrity of the burgeoning digital asset sector.”

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