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OFAC’s Tornado Cash Ban Causes Github Suspensions and the Blacklisting of Crypto Addresses Holding $437M

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OFAC’s Tornado Cash Ban Causes Github Suspensions and the Blacklisting of Crypto Addresses Holding $437M

OFAC's Tornado Cash Ban Causes Github Suspensions and the Blacklisting of Crypto Addresses Holding $437M

On August 8, the ethereum mixing service Tornado Cash, and all the crypto addresses associated with the platform, were officially banned by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC). Following the ban, the internet hosting service for software and open source code development, Github, erased some of the Tornado Cash commits and suspended some of the project’s contributors.

Tornado Cash Github Contributors Suspended from Github, Blacklisted ERC20s Left to Liquidity Providers

Tornado Cash has become a topical conversation in the world of cryptocurrencies as the U.S. government decided to ban the privacy-enhancing ethereum mixing service on Monday. The U.S. Treasury Department’s watchdog OFAC did not disclose exactly why Tornado Cash was sanctioned but it is suspected that it was due to the North Korean hacking syndicate known as Lazarus Group.

My @GitHub account was just suspended 🤷

Is writing an open source code illegal now?

— Roman Semenov 🌪️ 🇺🇦 (@semenov_roman_) August 8, 2022

Lazarus Group associates allegedly used Tornado Cash to mix funds. On April 15, 2022, the official Tornado Cash Twitter account explained that it had blocked flagged ethereum addresses listed on the OFAC Specially Designated Nationals And Blocked Persons list (SDN). “Tornado Cash uses [a] Chainalysis oracle contract to block OFAC sanctioned addresses from accessing the dapp,” the project’s social media account said at the time. The Tornado Cash Twitter account added:

Maintaining financial privacy is essential to preserving our freedom, however, it should not come at the cost of non-compliance.

Now reports detail that developers that have contributed to the Tornado Cash codebase on Github have been suspended and a few commits have been deleted. Tornado Cash’s founder, Roman Semenov, explained that his Github account was suspended. “My Github account was just suspended. Is writing an open source code illegal now?” Semenov asked. According to a Twitter user dubbed “Bowtiediguana,” all the addresses OFAC associated with Tornado Cash hold roughly $437 million in stablecoins like USDC and USDT, alongside ETH and WBTC as well.

Circle just frozen 75,000 USDC belonging to unsuspecting Tornado users, as well as 149 USDC donated to the project. pic.twitter.com/GBS41FtZvB

— banteg (@bantg) August 8, 2022

After the OFAC ban, Circle blacklisted all of the usd coin (USDC) associated with the Tornado Cash platform. Bowtiediguana expects Tether and Bitgo, the custodian of WBTC, to do the same thing, as these ERC20 tokens can be frozen at the smart contract level. The defi educator also expects the ERC20 custodians like Bitgo to “suspend redemptions of the tainted WBTC, rendering those tokens worthless.” Bowtiediguana added:

Liquidity providers will likely end up as bagholders for blocked WBTC (and stablecoin) assets if they do not pull liquidity from DEX *immediately*.

Ethereum Proponent Says OFAC Ban Was the ‘Opening Shot of Big Brother’s Attack on Crypto’

Meanwhile, after the ban, a great number of crypto community members discussed the U.S. government’s actions. “I’m sure the bad guys will stop using Tornado Cash because it’s ‘illegal,’” Shapeshift founder Erik Voorhees wrote. “Just like they don’t use illegal weapons, smuggle illegal drugs, or illegally launder money through every means they can find. Law-abiding Americans are the only ones hurt by this,” Voorhees added. Ethereum proponent Ryan Adams called the ban an attack on crypto.

The outlawing of Tornado Cash and freezing of $USDC infuriates me.

It’s a war between the state and our financial freedom at this point. I’m afraid this is just the beginning.

We need to fight for our freedom!

— Aku 👀 (@AkuRypto) August 8, 2022

“Today the US sanctioned Ethereum addresses associated w/ a privacy service called Tornado cash. Circle immediately froze the USDC in those accounts. GitHub suspended contributors to Tornado. If you were waiting for the opening shot of big brother’s assault on crypto this was it,” Adams said. Crypto proponents discussed other ideas like decentralizing Github in a censorship-resistant fashion and others talked about creating “new instances of the Tornado contract.”

What do you think about OFAC banning the ethereum mixing application Tornado Cash? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

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 5,700 articles for Bitcoin.com News about the disruptive protocols emerging today.

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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4 On-Chain Metrics Show the Bitcoin Price Is Primed for Bullish Explosion

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4 On-Chain Metrics Show the Bitcoin Price Is Primed for Bullish Explosion

Amid recent macroeconomic extremes, Bitcoin has maintained a quiet stance, almost eerie for its HODLers. Nonetheless, its hashrate and accumulation are soaring — what could this mean for its price?

Bitcoin has been consolidating in a narrow range between $18,800 and $20,200 since the mid-Sept price fall. In volatile markets like cryptocurrency, similar quiet periods of consolidation are rare. 

Recent Glassnode findings show that the current BTC price action resembles both pre-crash November 2018 and pre-rally March 2019. Despite price downturns, mining and accumulation statistics are improving. Let’s look into what this means for the health of the network.

Bitcoin hashrate makes new ATH 

Last week, the Bitcoin hashrate made a new all-time high of 242 exahashes per second.

Source: Glassnode

In the chart below, we can see that Bitcoin’s longer-term, slower hash ribbon was once again overtaken by the faster ribbon, indicating improved mining conditions in late August. Since the price saw no major uptick during this time, the rise in hashrate was likely due to more efficient mining hardware and more mining rigs working in general.

Source: Glassnode

Historically, these hash ribbon moving average swaps precede price gains. Historically, when the hash-rate drops and subsequently recovers, major BTC price bottoms have been made. 

Is a price bottom in?

Apart from the hashrate, Bitcoin accumulation levels also reached a 7-year high. CryptoQuant data shows that 6-month-old and older Bitcoins now make up 74% of the realized cap. During the 2019 and 2015 bottoms, this score sat at 70% and 77%, respectively.

Source: CryptoQuant 

Lastly, for the first time in this cycle, the percentage of supply in loss has reached the 50% level.

CryptoQuant data shows that the price bottoms during previous cycles normally occur when the percentage of supply in loss reaches 50% or more.

Source: CryptoQuant

The current data shows the highest percentage of losses at 52% on the daily chart, 50.4% on the weekly (7DMA), and 48% on the monthly (30DMA). 

While quite a few metrics suggest that BTC should be near a bottom, the overall momentum will likely still depend on macroeconomic conditions as well as its correlation with the Nasdaq and S&P 500. 

Disclaimer

All the information contained on our website is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. Any action the reader takes upon the information found on our website is strictly at their own risk.

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Bitcoin price sees first October spike above $20K as daily gains hit 5%

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Bitcoin price sees first October spike above $20K as daily gains hit 5%

BTC price action sees a new October peak amid a declining U.S. dollar and a successful prior day’s trading for U.S. equities.

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Bitcoin price sees first October spike above K as daily gains hit 5%

Bitcoin (BTC) saw its first trip above $20,000 on Oct. 4 as traders expected familiar resistance to cap gains.

BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView

Multi-week dollar lows fuel Bitcoin bulls

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed BTC/United States dollar climbing prior to the Wall Street open, up over 5% in 24 hours.

The pair had shaken off macroeconomic concerns at the start of the week, with trouble at Credit Suisse and the escalating Russia-Ukraine conflict failing to slow performance.

Now, the short-term analysis focused on a run potentially topping out closer to $21,000 — as was the case late last month, as sell-side pressure at that level remained significant.

“20500-21000 is a sell zone. If price gets there, which should, don’t be too bullish,” popular trader Il Capo of Crypto told Twitter followers on the day.

Razzoorn, an analyst at international trade group The Birb Nest, noted that the current charge was Bitcoin’s fifth attempt at escaping a major liquidity cloud in several weeks.

Despite the potentially limited upside opportunity, Bitcoin rallied in line with a broader risk asset tide which saw United States equities finish noticeably higher the day prior.

At the same time, the U.S. dollar suffered, the U.S. dollar index (DXY) extending losses to approach 111 points and threaten support in place since mid-September.

U.S. dollar index (DXY) 1-day candle chart. Source: TradingView

“Up the market goes,” a more optimistic Michaël van de Poppe, CEO and founder of trading platform Eight, continued:

“Flipping $19,500 for support. Now, if range-high at $19,600 holds for Bitcoin, I assume we’ll continue towards $22,400.”

Altcoins attempt to change sticky trend

Across major altcoins, it was Ether (ETH) and Ripple (XRP) leading daily performance at the time of writing. 

Related: CoinShares’ Butterfill suggests ’continued hesitancy’ among investors

ETH/USD traded above $1,350, still yet to break out of its sideways trend in place for several weeks since major losses entered during the post-Merge breakdown.

ETH/USD 1-day candle chart (Binance). Source: TradingView

XRP, on the other hand, faced a more stubborn band of resistance after prior gains, bouncing off multi-week support just below $0.45.

XRP/USD 1-day candle chart (Binance). Source: TradingView

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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McDonald’s starts to accept Bitcoin and Tether in Swiss town

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McDonald’s starts to accept Bitcoin and Tether in Swiss town

The global fast food chain is among the first to participate in a crypto-friendly experiment in the town of Lugano.

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McDonald’s starts to accept Bitcoin and Tether in Swiss town

Multinational fast food chain McDonald’s started to accept Bitcoin (BTC) as a payment method in the 63,000-populated city of Lugano in Italian Switzerland, which is becoming a hotspot for crypto adoption in Western Europe. 

A one-minute video of ordering food on McDonald’s digital kiosk and then paying for it at the regular register with the help of a mobile app was uploaded on Twitter by Bitcoin Magazine on Oct. 3. The Tether (USDT)  logo could be spotted next to the Bitcoin symbol on the credit cash machine, which is not surprising, as in March 2022 the city of Lugano announced it would accept Bitcoin, Tether and the LVGA token as a legal tender.

On March 3, 2022, the city signed a memorandum of understanding with Tether Operations Limited, launching the so-called “Plan B.” According to this plan, Tether has created two funds — the first one is a $106 million, or 100 million Swiss francs, investment pool for crypto startups, and the second is around $3 million, or 3 million Swiss francs, attempt to encourage the adoption of crypto for shops and businesses across the city.

In addition to allowing Lugano residents to pay their taxes using crypto, the project will extend payments to parking tickets, public services and tuition fees for students. More than 200 shops and businesses in the area are also expected to accept crypto payments for goods and services.

Related: Swiss Post’s banking arm developing in-house crypto custody platform

Speaking to Cointelegraph in June, Paolo Ardoino, chief technology officer of Tether and Bitfinex, claimed that Plan B “is going great,” announcing a two-week educational activity on blockchain and cryptocurrencies in the city.

In September 2021 El Salvador became the first country in the world to allow using Bitcoin as a legal tender. Since that time, McDonald’s has been accepting Bitcoin at all its 19 outlets in the country.

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