Tornado DAO grapples with arrests as discord and governance forum go dark

The Tornado DAO Discord server and governance forum linked to the recently sanctioned crypto mixing service Tornado Cash appears to have been disabled.

Tornado Cash is an Ethereum-centric mixing tool that was sanctioned by the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control on Monday. Following the crackdown, crypto projects across the ecosystem struggled to come to terms with the fact that the US government has, for the first time, sanctioned a smart contract— which amounts to software or computer code — not an individual or a group.

Tensions within the industry were further heightened today when, this morning, Dutch police confirmed they had arrested a 29-year-old ‘suspected developer’ in Amsterdam in connection with Tornado Cash.

“He is suspected of being involved in concealing criminal financial flows and facilitating money laundering by mixing cryptocurrencies through the decentralized Ethereum mixing service Tornado Cash,” the Dutch Anti-Corruption Agency said. Crime (FIOD) in a statement.

Members of the Tornado Cash DAO, who are organizing via Discord, are now wondering how to keep the project alive. But a link to the Discord server accessible through Google Chrome on the desktop now results in an invalid invite error message. If it has been removed, it is the latest move in a growing crackdown on the project.

Meanwhile, the forum that Tornado DAO members used to discuss and govern the project also appears to have been taken down. A link that led to a proposal where DAO members were discussing ways to potentially save the project earlier this week now returns an error message.

An error message on the page that used to be the Tornado DAO governance forum. Source: Torn Community

Although the DAO forum was taken down, the community that governs the project managed to unanimously approve a proposal to add themselves as signatories to Tornado’s $22 million treasury.

The change would make it easier to approve transactions, the proponent wrote, “if anything ever happens to 2 signatories, we might still be able to manage the community fund.”

An archived version of the proposal to modify the Tornado Cash multisig on its treasury. Source: Internet Archive

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Melvin B. Baillie