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Tornado Cash Developers Raises $350K For Legal Battle With Support From Whistleblower Edward Snowden

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A legal fund set up for the defense of Tornado Cash developers Roman Storm and bitcoin Alex Pertsev has raised more than $350K, and gained  support from the former National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden. 
A new fundraising website says that the arrests of Storm and Pertsev are “a direct attack on the open-source development space and may have devastating consequences for developers who write and publish code.”

Storm said on X yesterday that he would launch a campaign, in the form of a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), to raise money for a lawyer. “2024 is the year that will define the rest of my life,” wrote the developer. “I’m scared. But also hopeful that this community cares with a passion.” 

If you can help, please help. Privacy is not a crime.
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) January 23, 2024

Snowden, an exiled former Central Intelligence Agency contractor, retweeted Storm’s post and asked his followers to pitch in to help the Tornado Cash developer. “If you can help, please help,” he said. “Privacy is not a crime.”
Tornado Cash Accused Of Facilitating Money Laundering
Tornado Cash was a popular crypto mixing platform that allowed users to anonymously send and receive Ethereum (ETH). In 2022, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Access Control (OFAC) banned Americans from using the service following claims that criminals were using the platform to launder money.
OFAC then alleged that Storm and his colleague, Roman Semenov, laundered more than $1 billion in funds obtained through illegal activities. Pertsev was arrested. 
Snowden’s Role In The Crypto Space
Snowden has long been a privacy and cryptocurrency advocate, and said last year that the sanctioning of Tornado Cash was “deeply illiberal and profoundly authoritarian.” 
He also helped create the privacy-focused Zcash and even pointed out Bitcoin’s privacy problem. The former whistleblower is currently living in exile in Russia since being charged by the U.S. government with espionage in 2013.
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