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Tornado Cash surges 20% pending release of developer Alexey Pertsev

Tornado Cash surges 20% pending release of developer Alexey Pertsev

Two months after a Dutch court ruled to keep Alexey Pertsev detained until his next hearing in late April, sources have confirmed that a judge had decided to release the developer of the mixing service Tornado Cash (TORN), albeit under strict conditions, leading to a massive surge in the price of the platform’s cryptocurrency.

As it happens, crypto educator and activist Eléonore Blanc, who has been monitoring the case and leading the campaign to free Pertsev, announced that Pertsev would be released to his home on Wednesday, April 26, according to the tweet she posted herself, as well as Telegram communication shared by Twitter user banteg on April 20.

According to the screenshot of the Telegram conversation, Blanc said that the Dutch authorities would release Pertsev to his home “under surveillance and ankle monitor but free nevertheless,” adding that she was present in the court when the judge was reading these conditions.

Eléonore Blanc’s Telegram conversation. Source: banteg

Replying to the comment under her tweet that was asking for the source, Blanc said that she was the source, having “heard the judge at his 3rd pro forma hearing in Den Bosch today” and posted a picture of herself standing in front of the court building.

TORN price reacts

After the news of Pertsev’s release, the price of the TORN cryptocurrency soared 23.55% in less than an hour and is currently trading at $10.52, recording an increase of 18.86% on the day and adding up to the accumulated gains of 36.58% on its weekly chart, as well as of 43.29% during the previous month.

Tornado Cash 24-hour price chart. Source: Finbold

Pertsev’s arrest and detainment

As a reminder, the Dutch officials arrested Pertsev in August 2022, shortly after the United States Treasury Department sanctioned Tornado Cash, alleging multiple hacker groups, including the North Korea state-backed Lazarus Group, used it to launder stolen assets, as Finbold reported at the time.

Specifically, the American authorities have asserted that criminals had used Tornado Cash to launder “more than $7 billion worth of virtual currency since its creation in 2019,” part of which was the $80 million that hackers stole from the Ethereum-based stablecoin protocol Beanstalk Farms in April 2022.

In response, a crypto trading platform Coinbase sponsored a lawsuit against the Treasury filed by Tornado Cash users, including two Coinbase employees who the crypto exchange alleged had used the mixer service for legitimate purposes, like donating money to relief efforts in Ukraine and protecting their transactions and salary information from prying eyes.

Shortly after, a crypto advocacy organization Coin Center filed a legal complaint in October 2022, asserting that the Treasury was overstepping its power with the above-mentioned sanctions and was targetting crypto investors in the US.

According to the statement, the Dutch Ministry of Finance – the Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD), suspects Pertsev of involvement in “concealing criminal financial flows and facilitating money laundering through the mixing of cryptocurrencies through the decentralized Ethereum mixing service Tornado Cash.”

However, the authorities in the Netherlands still haven’t formally charged Pertsev with any crime, despite having him in their custody since August, as Dutch law allows detainment of individuals in 110-day intervals without formal charges, which has caused an uproar within the crypto community.

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