Blockchain Association Files Second Amicus Brief in Coin Center v. Treasury

Washington, D.C. (Dec. 22, 2023) — Today, Blockchain Association (BA) filed a second amicus brief in the Coin Center v. Treasury Tornado Cash case, this one in support of Plaintiffs’ appeal to the Eleventh Circuit. The brief focuses on the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) actions against Tornado Cash, a self-executing computer software protocol embedded on the Ethereum blockchain. As we have explained in previous briefs, this is the first time that OFAC has decided to sanction a piece of software, rather than an entity or person behind such programs. In the case of Tornado Cash, there is simply no such entity or person behind the software; it functions in an entirely decentralized manner, without human intervention. For this reason, OFAC’s actions are unlawful, exceed their statutory authority, and are arbitrary and capricious, running contrary to the Constitution.

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

“We repeat our call for OFAC to understand Tornado Cash for its actual nature. The Tornado Cash software is, simply put, a tool, one that exists independently and autonomously from any human control. Banning decentralized software programs, simply because such programs had been allegedly used to support illicit finance, is philosophically equivalent to banning hammers because they had been used for violence rather than for hitting a nail. We urge OFAC to focus on the bad actors themselves rather than the neutral tools allegedly used to carry out the illicit actions in question.”