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US Treasury sanctions cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash

This marks 2nd time US Treasury imposed sanctions on cryptocurrency tumbler

The US Treasury Department announced Monday that it has imposed sanctions on cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash for laundering more than $7 billion worth of virtual currency since 2019.

The amount includes the largest known virtual currency heist of $455 million, stolen by the Lazarus Group, a North Korean state-sponsored hacking group that was sanctioned by the US in 2019,said a department statement.

Tornado Cash was used to launder $96 million of cyber actors’ funds derived from the Harmony Bridge Heist on June 24, 2019, and $7.8 million from the Nomad Heist on Aug. 2.

“Despite public assurances otherwise, Tornado Cash has repeatedly failed to impose effective controls designed to stop it from laundering funds for malicious cyber actors on a regular basis and without basic measures to address its risks,” Brian Nelson, Treasury under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement.

This marks the second time the Treasury has imposed sanctions on a virtual currency mixer, after Blender.io for its ties to North Korea on May 6.

A virtual currency mixer, also known as a cryptocurrency tumbler, mixes identifiable crypto funds and then distributes them to various addresses in order to conceal their origins.

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