HomeCryptoProtests against the arrest of Tornado Cash developer

Protests against the arrest of Tornado Cash developer

More than 50 people gathered at Dam Square in Amsterdam to protest the arrest of Tornado Cash developer Alexey Pertsev.

Community rebels against Tornado Cash developer’s arrest

Protests over the arrest of Alexey Pertsev, developer of Tornado Cash

On Saturday at least 50 people gathered in one of Amsterdam’s iconic squares, Dam Square, to protest the arrest ten days ago by Dutch authorities of Alexey Pertsev, developer of Tornado cash.

The company has long been in the crosshairs of the U.S. Treasury Department, which has also blacklisted the cryptocurrency mixer for allegedly laundering $7 billion since 2019, and is also alleged to have facilitated money transfers from countries such as North Korea, which have been sanctioned by the international community for years.

Pertsev was reportedly arrested by Dutch police, at the explicit request of U.S. authorities, precisely because he was accused of participating in this type of crime within Tornado cash. Dutch authorities have said that the people behind Tornado Cash have been profiting on a large scale from these transactions made in a shady manner with countries whose transactions are not allowed.

But the people who protested in Amsterdam on Saturday, among whom was the developer’s wife, argued that he could not be accused of misusing his open source programs and, therefore, demanded Pertsev’s immediate release. Not least because the Dutch authorities have reportedly not yet clarified what charges the developer, who has been locked up in a prison since August 12, is facing.

Roman Buzko, of the law firm Buzko Krasnov, said during the demonstration: 

“It’s a case where the fundamental principle of crypto is being questioned. The case concerns whether code is an expression of free speech. In my view, it is.”

The attack on the ideals of open source codes

On the other hand, the protesters distributed some leaflets to explain the reason for their protest:

“The accusations against Alex threaten to kill the entire open-source software segment. No one will dare to write and publish open-source code, no one will invest in the segment if they could be made responsible for the use of the tool they created by other parties.”

Petr Korolev, Co-founder of Oxorio, a blockchain consulting firm, said on Twitter that Pertsev has not been officially charged, but has been questioned about his role in developing the protocol.

Korolev said during an interview: 

“This is a major case, and I am afraid that if Alex is found guilty, that will create a precedent that could hit open-source code developers.”

Meanwhile, a petition was opened three days ago on behalf of Pertsev, but also on behalf of all open source code developers, which has already gathered 1,500 signatures.

Vincenzo Cacioppoli
Vincenzo Cacioppoli
Vincenzo was born in Genova but lived most of his life in Milan. He has a degree in political science. He is a journalist, blogger, writer, and marketing and digital advertising expert. After a long experience in traditional marketing, he started working with the web and digital advertising in 2011, creating a company called Le enfants. Passionate about the web and innovation, in 2018 he started exploring the topics related to blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. Independent cryptocurrency trader since March 2018, he now collaborates with companies in the sector as a content marketing specialist. In his blog. mediateccando.blogspot.com, he has long been primarily focused on blockchain, which he considers to be the greatest technological innovation after the Internet. His first book about blockchain and fintech is scheduled for release in November.