Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has revealed that he personally used the now-sanctioned Ethereum mixer “Tornado Cash” when donating funds to Ukraine earlier this year.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Twitter user Jeff Coleman called for people to provide documented examples of individuals using Tornado Cash to donate to Ukraine. Tornado Cash is an Ethereum protocol that helps preserve the privacy of users’ on-chain transactions.
“Wanting to donate to Ukraine is a great example of a valid need for financial privacy,” said Coleman.
In response, Vitalik offered himself as an example. “I’ll out myself as someone who has used TC to donate to this exact cause,” he said.
The co-founder added that he used the protocol as a means of protecting the recipient’s identity, rather than his own. Hence, outing himself did not defeat the purpose of his transaction.
Tornado Cash was sanctioned by the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control on Monday. The department stated that over $7 billion in illegal funds had been laundered through the protocol since 2019.
However, crypto industry leaders including Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire have argued that the department’s action sets a poor precedent for financial privacy and security in the world of blockchain.