Vitalik Buterin Donates 30 ETH to Tornado Cash Legal Fund

Vitalik Buterin Donates 30 ETH to Tornado Cash Legal Fund

Vitalik Buterin Donates 30 ETH to Tornado Cash Legal Fund

Vitalik Buterin donated 30 ETH in support of the Tornado Cash developers AlexeyPertsevand Roman Storm. This fund has raised over 593 ETH so far to support the Tornado Cash developers in their legal fights. Pertsev, a Dutch judge recently found him guilty of money-laundering and sentenced him to more than five years behind bars. Buterin recently spoke about the diversity of cultures created by Ethereum’s layer-2 solutions. Analysts believe that spot ETH ETFs could launch as soon as the end of this month.

An open-source cryptocurrency crowdfunding platform, Juicebox (which is associated with Vitalik buterin), received 30 ETH worth around $113,000 from a wallet linked to Vitalik. Funds were used to provide legal support for Tornado Cash developers Alexey Pertsev, and Roman Storm.

Tornado Cash’s developers are currently fighting in court to prove their innocence. The Tornado Cash fund is already raising about 593 Ether.

Alexey Pertsev & Roman Storm Legal Defense Fund (Source:Juicebox )

The crypto community has suffered a great deal as a result of the crackdown by law enforcement on privacy-enhancing tools. Buterin and other crypto veterans have actively advocated for tools to help manage assets in a private manner. Buterin has written a number of papers on improving privacy for Ethereum. His support for Tornado Cash, and cryptocurrency privacy generally is not surprising.

Law enforcement’s crackdown has affected coins that are privacy-focused, like Monero. It has delisted the coin from many major exchanges around the world. The crypto community believes that although privacy tools are often criticized by regulators, treating software developers as terrorists for simply writing code is not justified.

Tornado Cash isn’t the first case in which the crypto-community has expressed its support for human rights and crypto privacy. Crypto fans are demanding Ross Ulbricht’s release, who is the man behind Silk Road. Ulbricht currently serves two consecutive sentences of life without parole, both for non-violent offenses.

Ulbricht’s community advocacy caught even the former president Donald Trump’s attention. He promised to pardon Ulbricht should he be elected as President.

Tornado Cash Dev Found Guilty

A panel of Dutch judges found Alexey Prittsev guilty of money-laundering earlier this month. Pertsev, a Russian citizen, was found guilty of money laundering in the Netherlands earlier this month by a panel of judges. The prosecution argued Tornado Cash was a welcoming environment for criminals. Pertsev received a five-year and four-month prison sentence.

Pertsev was found to have created an easy way for terrorists and criminals to finance crimes. The court also stated that Pertsev chose not pay attention when his tool was abused. Tornado Cash will be banned in August 2022 for US residents.

Pertsev, who was detained in The Netherlands two days after his arrest in Russia, was then arrested. Dutch prosecutors said that from 2019-2022, more than 30% of the funds flowing through Tornado Cash were laundering money. Pertsev allegedly did not do anything to stop this illegal activity.

Pertsev claimed that Tornado Cash is operated on the Ethereum Blockchain and under no one’s control. Prosecutors, however, claimed that Pertsev and other developers were in control of the website interface where most transactions take place. Prosecutors did not think that adding features to distinguish between legitimate and criminal funds was enough.

Many crypto enthusiasts were angry at Pertsev for his arrest. They argue it’s unfair to blame a developer for the behavior of users. The Dutch prosecution, however, remained firm in their belief that this case concerned Pertsev and not open-source liability or privacy rights. Pertsev, they believe, knowingly allowed money from criminals to enter the system by making decisions that enabled money laundering.

Roman Storm, a second Tornado Cash developer, will be tried in the US for similar charges.

Tornado Cash is a cashback program.

Tornado Cash allows you to anonymousize your Ethereum transactions using “pools”. Smart contracts manage these Ethereum pools, similar to how a bank would function without having individual accounts. These pools are where users deposit tokens. The pools accept specific tokens at set amounts. For example, one pool is for deposits of 1 ETH and another pool for deposits of 100 ETH. The pooling system makes it impossible to track the source of any withdrawals.

Platform supports multiple cryptocurrencies, and works across several networks. However, most of the transactions are made in ETH using Ethereum’s blockchain. Tornado Cash relies on smart contracts that are immutable. This means the code for the pools can’t be changed or controlled by anyone. Certain functions can still be altered through the governance process.

Vitalik Buterin: Ethereum Subcultures Layer 2

Buterin shared some of his views on Ethereum layer-2. The Ethereum co-founder said that layer-2 solutions were not just about scaling, but they also foster diverse subcultures to expand the Ethereum ecosphere beyond what one chain can achieve.

Buterin shared in a blog on May 29, his views about the advantages of layer-2 chains beyond their technical innovations, as well as how they can serve as hubs for different crypto subcultures.

Subcultures such as “cypherpunks”, who create infrastructures and tools, but are not involved in their usage, “regens”, who focus on public goods and “degens”, who speculate on non-fungible tokens and meme coins, make up these subcultures. Paul Dylan-Ennis, an Ethereum researcher, was the first to identify these subcultures. According to him, their influence has been felt in different ways of scaling, design and choice of applications, as well as virtual machines.

Buterin said that developers of blockchains must understand that the design decisions they make to appeal to certain groups may exclude other audiences. A blockchain that is perceived to be a casino chain may have difficulty attracting non-casino developers and applications.

Buterin also shared his optimism about the “cultural plurality” of subcultures, where they can all co-exist and bring their own unique contributions to the Ethereum eco system. Buterin cited examples such as women in leadership positions at Optimism, and ZKSync’s dedication to be both cypherpunk-friendly and user friendly.

Buterin believes that despite the fact that some subcultures may not be aligned, they will be able to be brought together.

By the end of June, it is possible to launch spot ether ETFs

Analysts say that the United States could launch spot Ether ETFs by June. BlackRock filed its Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the iShares Ethereum Trust ETHA on May 29 after it was approved by the SEC.

The ETF must receive both approvals before it can begin trading. Bloomberg ETF Analyst Eric Balchunas views this as an excellent sign and suggests that spot ETFs for ETH could be launched by the end June. However, he expects them to launch more around July 4th.

James Seyffart, Bloomberg ETF Analyst James Seyffart saw BlackRock’s updated S-1 form as an indication that ETF issuers are working with the SEC to launch spot Ethereum ETFs.

BlackRock amended S-1 includes details on its seed capital investors, an entity which allocates funds to the fund in order for it to start trading. BlackRock’s affiliate company agreed to buy $10 million worth of shares in order to allow trading. The ETF’s ticker will be “ETHA.”

The same day, Hashdex retracted its bid to create a spot Ether ETF despite the SEC’s approval along with BlackRock and other issuers.

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