Amsterdam man arrested for creating cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash
The Dutch authorities arrested a 29-year-old man in Amsterdam on Wednesday on suspicion that he created the decentralized Etherium mixing service Tornado Cash. The man is suspected of concealing criminal money flows and facilitating money laundering, FIOD, the Tax Authority’s investigative department, said on Friday.
Tornado Cash is a mixing service for cryptocurrencies. According to FIOD, people use mixing services mainly to increase their anonymity. And mixing services don’t check the - sometimes criminal - origin of the cryptocurrencies they mix.
FIOD and the Financial Advanced Cyber Team (FACT) launched their investigation into Tornado Cash in June. “FACT suspects that Tornado Cash has been used to conceal large-scale criminal money flows, including from thefts of cryptocurrencies (crypto hacks and scams). These included funds stolen through hacks by a group believed to be associated with North Korea,” FIOD said.
According to FIOD, Tornado Cash has achieved a turnover of at least 7 billion dollars since opening in 2019. “Investigations showed that at least one billion dollars worth of cryptocurrencies of criminal origin passed through the mixer. It is suspected that persons behind this organization have made large-scale profits from these transactions.”
The United States government placed Tornado Cash on its sanctions list on Monday, August 8.
The investigation is ongoing and more arrests may follow, FIOD said.