- Kraken CEO Jesse Powell has criticized the restrictions imposed by the US Treasury and OFAC on Tornado Cash.
- On Bloomberg TV, he suggested that Tornado Cache has legitimate uses and that users have a right to privacy.
- Powell confirmed that Kraken would stop transactions related to the Tornado Cash address, despite its objections.
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Kraken CEO Jesse Powell has objected to the recent US sanctions against addresses associated with the Tornado Cash coin mixer.
Kraken Leader Defends Tornado Cash
Jesse Powell has criticized the sanctions against Tornado Cash.
Powell argued in an interview bloomberg tv Today that individuals have a “right to financial privacy” and that many people are using Tornado Cash for legitimate reasons.
He also questioned whether the restrictions would survive the constitutional challenge, referring to the Sikka Center’s plan to take the Treasury and OFAC to court on freedom of speech.
However, Powell believes that the community’s reaction may have been exaggerated. He said that, although it was unnecessary to remove Tornado Cache’s GitHub code, he does not see these incidents as a sign of a wider attack on open-source projects.
Instead, he suggested that the ban was a “knee-jerk reaction” and a “hasty response” to TeraUSD’s collapse, adding that regulators overreacted with the intention of protecting the public.
Powell also confirmed that, despite his objections, Kraken will block transactions from addresses belonging to Tornado Cash addresses. “We will prohibit withdrawals to any addresses linked to Tornado, and we will freeze any funds coming in from Tornado addresses,” Powell told Bloomberg.
Powell’s opposition to sanctions is expected given his past resistance to excessive regulation. In February, he criticized the Canadian government’s emergency measures targeting cryptocurrency exchanges. In the same month, he refused to freeze Russian accounts at the request of Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov.
Powell is not the only crypto leader to criticize the sanctions against Tornado Cash. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong And Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire has also criticized the restrictions on the grounds that they target a device rather than an individual or entity.
The US Treasury first banned the Tornado Cash address on August 8. One developer, Alexei Pertsev, was arrested by Dutch authorities in the Netherlands on 12 August.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this article owned BTC, ETH and other cryptocurrencies