On the Tornado Cash Situation
Due to unprecedented actions of the US government to sanction Tornado Cash and all of its associated addresses, BlockWallet has stopped all privacy pool activity in the wallet. If you still have funds inside our privacy pool, please notify our community managers on Telegram.
BlockWallet was born out of our desire to give you tools to protect your wealth and data.
Features like privacy proxies, phishing protection, flashbots protection, and finally, privacy pools is a testament to that.
Privacy pools let you send or receive crypto without revealing your wallet address, which served as a practical and easy way to increase your privacy. We had integrated Tornado Cash as an underlying protocol for this feature because it was the most private and secure solution.
Last week, we saw OFAC take unprecedented action against Tornado Cash, effectively adding the protocol and associated addresses to their sanction list because of its unique role in crypto scams. This means that US citizens are barred from interacting with the protocol, but the implications go further.
Targeting malicious uses of this protocol is naive, short-sighted, and ignorant — because it also affects innocent users, including virtuous ones. Ethereum’s co-founder, Vitalik Buterin mentioned that he donated to Ukraine using Tornado Cash to protect his privacy.
In light of this situation, many thought-leaders have spoken out to give their opinion. One that stood out in particular was a tweet by Seth Hertlein, the head of Policy at Ledger.
He mentions that if OFAC had sanctioned the criminals and hackers that used Tornado Cash, there wouldn’t be a problem. But crazily enough, the exact opposite occurred — a suspected Tornado Cash developer was arrested in Amsterdam.
Tornado cash is open-source code meaning it’s not owned by anyone and is freely available to everyone. It is, thus a public good. We enjoy the benefits of public goods and infrastructure every day: the internet, our wireless networks, our money, the banking system, transportation infrastructure, and our roads and highways.
Guess what? Criminals use these everyday as well.
Of course, we should pursue these criminal who misuse public goods, but we don’t sanction SMTP because hackers send phishing emails or I-95 because drug dealers drive on it or cell towers that route terrorists’ calls. These are not persons — neither is Tornado Cash.
Like email and highways, Tornado Cash has been misused by criminals for criminal ends. However, Tornado Cash is also a tool that enables law-abiding citizens to maintain their privacy on the blockchain for a host of legal purposes, including political speech.
Regardless of government sanctions and ever-changing privacy landscapes, BlockWallet’s focus remains the same — protecting our users on Web3. We will continue exploring other alternatives to on-chain privacy.
BlockWallet is a privacy-first self-custodial browser extension wallet where you can store, send or receive crypto and interact with your favorite blockchain apps privately.
As crypto sees mainstream adoption, blockchain’s lack of privacy often translates to security risks. BlockWallet is here to ensure that on-chain privacy does not lag behind. The wallet provides a set of advanced privacy tools wrapped in a familiar and user-friendly wallet experience, eliminating friction and making privacy accessible for everyone.
BlockWallet protects you and ensures privacy by default. When you make transactions or interact with blockchain apps, BlockWallet routes all node requests through Privacy Proxies, which mask the IP address and other metadata, that can be used to identify and track you on a blockchain. BlockWallet offers integrated Flash-Bot Protection, shielding you from sandwich attacks when you trade on DEXes. Meanwhile, the Phishing Protection feature helps you combat phishing scams by generating unique artwork on all sensitive pages.
BlockWallet is not a compromise. It’s privacy-first, but it still packs all features you would expect from a wallet. With full Web 3.0 support, the wallet allows you to connect to any DApp.