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Github Partially Reinstates Tornado Cash Codebase, Open Source Code Set To Read-Only Mode

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Github Partially Reinstates Tornado Cash Codebase, Open Source Code Set To Read-Only Mode

The internet hosting and software development subsidiary of Microsoft, Github, has partially unbanned the Tornado Cash repositories following the recent sanctions enforced by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC). Github’s decision follows the U.S. Treasury updating the public, noting that U.S. persons can copy, view, and discuss the open-source code. Github’s partial reinstatement lets repository visitors look at the Tornado Cash codebase in read-only mode.

Github Reinstates Tornado Cash Repositories in Read-Only Mode

The cryptocurrency community has been discussing the internet hosting and software development platform Github after the service decided to partially reinstate the Tornado Cash open source code on the platform. On August 8, 2022, the U.S. Treasury Department’s regulatory watchdog OFAC sanctioned the ethereum mixer Tornado Cash and several ethereum addresses associated with the platform. When OFAC’s sanctions were published, third-party platforms started to take action and one open source programmer was banned from Github.

“My Github account was just suspended,” the software developer Roman Semenov said at the time. “Is writing an open source code illegal now?” Additionally, the Microsoft-owned Github removed the Tornado Cash codebase repositories, and no one could access the code via the software development platform.

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On September 13, 2022, after significant criticism from the crypto community, the U.S. Treasury updated the public about U.S. persons that associate themselves with Tornado Cash. For instance, sanctions do not fully apply to U.S. persons that transacted with the ethereum mixing application prior to August 8. If this was the case, and a U.S. person still held funds on the application they can “request a specific license from OFAC to engage in transactions involving the subject virtual currency.”

OFAC Allows US Persons to View, Discuss, and Teach About Sanctioned Platforms and Open-Source Code in Written Publications

OFAC’s frequently asked questions (FAQ) update also discusses open source code tied to Tornado Cash. “U.S. persons would not be prohibited by U.S. sanctions regulations from copying the open-source code and making it available online for others to view, as well as discussing, teaching about, or including open-source code in written publications,” the Treasury’s regulatory department noted.

Following the FAQ update roughly ten days ago, the Ethereum developer Preston Van Loon reported that Github had partially reinstated the Tornado Cash codebase and unbanned codebase contributors. “Github has unbanned the Tornado Cash organization and contributors on their platform,” the developer said. “It looks like everything is in ‘read only’ mode, but that is progress from an outright ban. I still encourage Github to reverse all actions and return the repositories to their former status,” Van Loon added.

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What do you think about Github partially reinstating Tornado Cash repositories? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

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Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is the News Lead at Bitcoin.com News and a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open-source code, and decentralized applications. Since September 2015, Redman has written more than 6,000 articles for Bitcoin.com News about the disruptive protocols emerging today.

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Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, Editorial photo credit: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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EU Bans Crypto Services For Russians In New Sanctions Over Ukraine Escalation

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EU Bans Crypto Services For Russians In New Sanctions Over Ukraine Escalation

An array of crypto-related services have been targeted in the latest round of sanctions on Russia approved by the EU. The measures are part of an expected tightening of the economic and financial restrictions in response to Moscow’s decision to annex Ukrainian territories.

EU Council Adopts Full Ban on Crypto Wallet and Custody Services for Russian Persons

The Council of the European Union announced new sanctions against Russia on the backdrop of the deepening military conflict in Ukraine. The penalties, expected to hurt the Russian government and economy, come after Moscow took steps to annex the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson.

In a statement, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell emphasized that the sanctions are a response to the latest escalation with the “fake referenda” in these four oblasts. Russian individuals and entities that have played a role in their organization will be specifically targeted.

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Other Russian citizens and businesses are also going to take a hit, including those that deal with cryptocurrencies. The new measures include a full ban on the provision of wallet, account, or custody services for crypto assets to Russian persons and residents. That’s regardless of the value of these assets, according to the eighth package of sanctions imposed by Brussels.

This spring, when the EU approved its fifth round of such measures, the Council prohibited only the provision of “high-value” crypto-asset services to Russians and organizations registered in their country. The ban applied to digital funds exceeding €10,000 (close to $11,000 at the time).

New European Sanctions to Hit Russian Imports and Exports

While the earlier restrictions were meant to limit the transfer of wealth through digital assets and close other loopholes in the crypto space, a recent report revealed that pro-Russian groups have been actively using cryptocurrency, often in small transactions, to fund paramilitary operations in Ukraine. According to the research, they have raised $400,000 in crypto since the start of the invasion in late February. Russian authorities have also been working to allow businesses to employ crypto payments for international settlements.

With the latest move, the EU also bans the provision of IT consultancy and legal advisory services to Russia as well as architectural and engineering services. Russian imports and exports have been targeted, too, including the maritime transport of crude oil and petroleum products to third countries. The provision of related services will be allowed only if these have been purchased at or below a pre-established price cap, which is yet to be determined.

Among the other measures is a ban on EU nationals to hold any posts on the governing bodies of some Russian state-owned or government-controlled entities. The Council also decided to broaden the criteria under which persons can be designated as facilitating the circumvention of restrictions imposed by the European Union. The European Commission, the executive body in Brussels, welcomed the latest sanctions package.

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Do you think the new EU sanctions will significantly limit access to cryptocurrencies for Russians? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

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Crypto Exchange Okx Blocked By Russia’s Telecom Watchdog

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Crypto Exchange Okx Blocked By Russia’s Telecom Watchdog

Russian media and communications regulator, Roskomnadzor, has restricted access to the website of a major cryptocurrency exchange, Okx. The trading platform was one of those that did not restrict access for Russians amid sanctions that affected the industry’s business in Russia.

Okx Blacklisted on Request From Russian Prosecutor’s Office for Disseminating Banned Information

Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, also known as Roskomnadzor, has added this week the domain name of crypto exchange Okx to its list of sites containing information, the distribution of which is prohibited in the Russian Federation. The move follows a decision by the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office.

The Seychelles-based company is among the few leading coin trading platforms that did not introduce restrictions for Russian users despite mounting Western sanctions imposed over Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, the Russian business news portal RBC noted in a report.

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Russian prosecutors asked the telecom watchdog to prevent access to its website for “dissemination of unreliable socially significant information of financial nature,” Roskomnadzor told RBC Crypto. The agency’s press service further elaborated:

The site published information related to the activities of financial pyramids, as well as information on the provision of financial services by persons who do not have the right to provide them in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation.

Okx, which has a daily trading volume of around $1.5 billion and lists some 350 digital assets, has not commented yet. Russian legal experts noted, however, that in the absence of a comprehensive legal framework, any exchange can be blocked in Russia. According to Daniil Gorkov, a lawyer at the Criminal Defense Firm, this would deal an irreparable blow to the country’s crypto market.

Roskomnadzor has a history of taking down crypto-related websites. In September 2020, the world’s largest crypto trading platform, Binance, was blocked for some time. The popular exchange aggregator Bestchange.ru has been blacklisted on several occasions and crypto news outlets have been targeted, too. In each of these cases, the restrictions were later lifted with prosecutors failing to convince the courts.

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Do you think Russian authorities will restrict access to other major crypto exchanges? Tell us in the comments section below.

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Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

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Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

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Latest EU Sanctions To Restrict Russians’ Access To Crypto Services In Europe, Report Unveils

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Latest EU Sanctions To Restrict Russians’ Access To Crypto Services In Europe, Report Unveils

New sanctions discussed by EU member states amid the current escalation of the conflict in Ukraine are going to restrict European crypto services for Russians. Reports about the tightening have come after earlier this year the Union banned only “high-value” crypto-asset services to Russian residents and companies.

EU Expected to Target Crypto Services for Russians in New Round of Sanctions Over Ukraine

The European Union is preparing to punish Russia with more sanctions over its decision to announce partial mobilization as part of its escalating military intervention in Ukraine and moves to annex occupied Ukrainian territories through what are seen as sham referendums.

The package will hit trade in the first place, with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announcing intentions to impose a new ban on Russian imports as well as the export of technologies that could be employed by the Russian military. A price cap for Russian oil is planned, too.

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The new measures would also aim to further restrict the ability of Russians to transfer wealth using digital assets like cryptocurrencies, according to Bloomberg quoting a knowledgeable source. Brussels wants to prevent European companies from providing crypto wallet, account, or custody services to Russian citizens and entities, the report reveals.

Jewelry and precious stones are also on the list, the person added, asking not to be identified as the proposal is still confidential. It also suggests cracking down on people who try to circumvent the sanctions, aims to ban EU nationals from holding high-paying roles in Russian state-owned companies, and to punish individuals and entities involved in staging the recent referendums in Ukraine.

Cryptocurrencies were targeted in sanctions introduced this spring, the fifth round of such measures approved by the EU Council, designed to narrow existing loopholes in the crypto space. At the time, the European Union prohibited the provision of “high-value” crypto-asset services to Russian entities and residents. The restrictions applied to digital funds exceeding €10,000 (now $9,803).

Since Moscow launched in late February a full-scale military invasion of neighboring Ukraine, which has been granted the status of a candidate for EU membership, the 27-strong bloc has adopted multiple packages of sanctions against the Russian Federation. For each to be enforced, the unanimous approval of all member states is required.

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ban, conflict, Crypto, crypto assets, crypto services, Cryptocurrencies, Cryptocurrency, custody, escalation, EU, european, European Union, mobilization, prohibition, referendums, restrictions, Russia, russian, Sanctions, Ukraine, ukrainian, Wallet, War

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Do you expect the European Union to expand the restrictions on crypto services for Russians and Russian companies? Tell us in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

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Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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