Photo by niu niu on Unsplash

Yes, you should be aware and worry about the government subsequences arresting the Tornado Cash Dev Alexey Pertsev.

Here is the announcement of the arrest after the U.S. sanctioned Tornado Cash:

"On Wednesday 10 August, the FIOD arrested a 29-year-old man in Amsterdam. He is suspected of involvement in concealing criminal financial flows and facilitating money laundering through the mixing of cryptocurrencies through the decentralised Ethereum mixing service Tornado Cash. Multiple arrests are not ruled out. These advanced technologies, such as decentralised organisations that may facilitate money laundering are receiving extra attention from the FIOD. Also in the cryptocurrency domain, the FIOD stands for a safe financial Netherlands and investigates with effect and impact. Today the suspect is brought before the examining judge."

When a robot is making the crime

Does Apple CEO Tim Cook get arrested when criminals use iPhones to exercise crime? Similarly, did Bill Gates get arrested because criminals use Windows 10 to execute their crimes? Even Tesla killed a pedestrian and did not send Elon Musk to jail, why should Alexey Pertsev?

Tornado cash is a smart contract built on top of Ethereum to facilitate the crypto mixer and make transactions untraceable.

U.S. Treasury Department claimed the Tornado Cash had enabled cybercriminals to launder money.

FIOD, or the Fiscal Information and Investigation Service, argues that Tornado Cash was created solely for money laundering.

Should you be liable for what you create?

Since cryptocurrencies are open-source technology, should you be liable for the open-source code you created?

The answer should be no.

Because the code was created not for the specific purpose of committing criminal acts but for any other general purposes, the development of a tool is not prohibited.

However, when a tool has been created to commit criminal acts, making such a tool available may be punishable.

But then, how to distinguish a tool that is solely purposed to create for criminal acts when the tool has a general purpose of having on-chain privacy? A similar argument is if iPhone can facilitate illegal activities, Tim Cook should be arrested. But iPhone has more general purposes than enabling someone to conduct illicit activities.

Dev should not be liable

Such arrests will discourage developers from writing on open-source code, and many may become anonymous to protect their privacy.

If you think this is injustice, please join the petition below:

Petition here