The CEO of Kraken, Jesse Powell, has opposed recent U.S. penalties targeting Tornado Cash-related addresses.
Jesse Powell has opposed Tornado Cash’s punishments. Today, in an appearance with Bloomberg TV, Powell stated that consumers “have a right to financial privacy” and that many persons use Tornado Cash for good purposes.
Coin Center’s intention to sue the Treasury and OFAC over freedom of expression, he questioned if the penalties would withstand a constitutional challenge.
Powell feels, however, that the community reaction may be exaggerated. He said that even though removing Tornado Cash’s GitHub code was needless; he does not see these events as an indication of a broader assault on open-source initiatives.
Instead, he indicated that the fines were a “knee-jerk reaction” and a “hurried response” to the collapse of TerraUSD, adding that authorities overreacted to safeguard the public.
Despite his protests, Powell also stated that Kraken would prohibit transactions to and from Tornado Cash addresses. “We would ban withdrawals to any Tornado-affiliated addresses, and we would likely freeze any cash received from a Tornado-affiliated address,” Powell told Bloomberg.
Given his history of opposing excessive regulation, Powell’s opposition to punishment is predictable. In February, he attacked the Canadian government’s emergency measures that targeted cryptocurrency exchanges. In the same month, he declined the proposal of Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov to freeze Russian accounts.
Powell is hardly the only cryptocurrency leader to condemn Tornado Cash sanctions. Brian Armstrong, chief executive officer of Coinbase, and Jeremy Allaire, chief executive officer of Circle, have questioned the penalties because they target a technology rather than a person or organisation.
On August 8, the U.S. Treasury initially implemented penalties on Tornado Cash addresses. Alexey Pertsev, a developer, was detained in the Netherlands on August 12 by Dutch police.