Kevin O’Leary Talks About Tornado Cash Crackdown
- Kevin O’Leary has called the developers of Tornado Cash “crypto cowboys,” adding that he is tired of platforms like Tornado Cash which are a hub for illicit activities.
- He believes that once regulations are imposed on the crypto industry, “big money” will flow into it and huge developments will be seen.
Shark Tank star and renowned venture capitalist Kevin O’Leary believes that Ethereum-based crypto mixer Tornado Cash and similar services are hindering institutional crypto adoption and that the crackdown on crypto applications that “mess” with primary regulatory bodies is necessary.
While talking on Crypto Banter this Saturday, O’Leary said that services like Tornado Cash come under the “crypto cowboy” culture, and that should be removed from the crypto industry. Mr. Wonderful said that despite the increasing popularity of the crypto sector among institutional investors, the low participation and instability are the result of the involvement of crypto cowboys. However, he added that the industry is slowly realizing this and weeding out them:
“I think we’re getting to that stage now. Maybe we’re in the third or fourth inning towards that, but I’m tired of this crypto cowboy crap. I want to get involved in a regulated place where we can bring billions of dollars to work.”
Notably, last week, the United States Treasury Department sanctioned the Ethereum-based privacy tool Tornado Cash, citing that the power of the anonymous transaction in the hands of users could potentially lead to criminal activities. A 29-year-old Tornado Cash developer was detained last week by the Dutch fiscal information and investigation service (FIOD), which has charge of using the protocol for money laundering.
Millionaire venture capitalist didn’t hesitate to comment on the recent arrest of Alexey Pertsev by stating:
“At the end of the day, it’s okay to arrest that guy. Why? He’s messing with the primal forces of regulation […] If we have to sacrifice him, that’s okay because we want to have some stability in that institutional capital.”
Community demands “much-needed privacy”
But O’Leary’s perspective runs counter to what many others in the community believe. Many prominent crypto figures who supported the necessity for fundamental privacy rights on decentralized networks were angered by the U.S. Government’s action.
The removal of Tornado Cash’s GitHub account, according to Chainlink Lead Developer Advocate Patrick Collins, is “much worse than sanctioning a website” since code is speech, and by doing this, the regulator is infringing on the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Stefan George, the co-founder of Gnosis, also spoke out in favor of Tornado Cash, saying that the protocol gives Ethereum “much-needed privacy” and that creating open-source software should be viewed as “an expression of free speech.”
Even the Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin confessed that he had used Tornado while donating crypto to Ukraine early this year.