Wife of Arrested Tornado Cash Developer Banned from Talking to Him — Rally Organized


Ksenia Malik, wife of Tornado Cash creator Alexey Pertsev Wife, has slammed Dutch authorities for treating her husband as a “dangerous criminal” after his arrest last week.

The Dutch Tax Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) arrested Pertsev on August 12 for allegedly using the Ethereum-based privacy tool to launder money and conceal criminal financial flows.

Speaking to Cointelegraph, Malik confirmed that Pertsev remains in the hands of Dutch authorities and has not had the chance to contact him since he was put behind bars.

“He is being kept in prison as if he were a dangerous criminal,” Malik said, as she worried that Pertsev was arrested without warning for what she considers harmless activity:

“It is very unexpected for me that a person could be arrested for writing open source code.”

Malik said she can “only guess how he is doing and how difficult it is for him at the moment” because the Dutch authorities have banned her completely. [or anyone] of any contact with him, not even “a short call”.

Although Malik feels helpless in this regard, she is not without support. Decentralized finance (DeFi) aggregator 1inch held a rally in Amsterdam 20 August, to show support for Pertsev and defend the rights of developers to create open source software.

1inch was particularly vocal about this, after saying Pertsev’s arrest threatened to “set a dangerous precedent” because it could “kill the entire open source software segment” if developers are held accountable for any software they create that is misused by others.

In light of the efforts of 1inch and the wider crypto community, Malik said she is “very grateful to everyone who helps and supports my husband” as it proves that “people really care. “.

Malik also hopes the rally will not only draw attention to Pertsev’s injustice, but also positively influence public opinion about the nature of open source code:

“We want to publicize it so that as many people as possible are aware of the arrest and why it was inaccurate. This is a serious problem, because every open source developer and many other people can be affected by this accusation.

However, Pertsev’s arrest is not entirely frowned upon. Venture capitalist Kevin O’Leary said in a recent interview that crypto privacy tools like Tornado Cash are part of a “crypto cowboy” culture that “disrupts overriding regulatory forces.” While describing Pertsev’s arrest as necessary.

“If we have to sacrifice it, that’s okay, because we want to have some stability in that institutional capital,” he said.

Related: Tornado Cash Sanctions Will Undermine US, Strengthen Crypto

Prior to the arrest, the USOffice of Foreign Asset Control banned US residents from interacting with Tornado Cash on August 8 amid growing concerns that it was being used to launder money. The US Treasury estimates that Tornado Cash has facilitated more than $7 billion in money laundering activity since Pertsev established Tornado Cash in 2019.

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