In a recent filing submitted on May 24, six individuals have put forth a series of compelling arguments in support of their motion to overturn the United States Treasury’s decision to sanction the popular cryptocurrency mixer, Tornado Cash.
Coinbase, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges, has thrown its weight behind the lawsuit against the US Department of Treasury, joining forces with the six plaintiffs: Joseph Van Loon, Tyler Almeida, Alexander Fisher, Preston Van Loon, Kevin Vitale, and Nate Welch.
The plaintiffs assert that the case revolves around government overreach and a breach of First Amendment rights rather than carving out special rules for new technology.
The filing revealed that most of the group had prior interactions with Tornado Cash, emphasizing their personal stake in the matter.
Arguments Against Sanctions on Tornado Cash: Coinbase CLO
Coinbase’s Chief Legal Officer, Paul Grewal, took to Twitter to highlight the significance of the plaintiffs’ legal challenge against the imposed sanctions. Grewal urged readers to explore the reply brief filed by the individuals, which seeks to lift the designations imposed by the US Treasury.
The plaintiffs present four key arguments, all pointing to a common issue. They contend that the government is attempting to ban the usage of open-source software through property sanctions statutes, which were never intended for such purposes. Thus, they argue that the law does not align with the current case.
The plaintiffs’ first argument questions the assumption that anyone possessing the digital token TORN are automatically affiliated with the legally recognized entity known as “Tornado Cash.” They argue that this notion is legally untested and factually incorrect.
The second argument highlights that the law permits sanctions only on the property which can be owned. However, the nature of the privacy software’s underlying technology, comprising open-source and immutable smart contracts, makes it impossible to own, control, or alter anyone.
Moreover, the plaintiffs assert that no one, including the founders, developers, or individuals possessing TORN tokens, holds a property interest in these immutable smart contracts, forming the basis of their third argument.
Lastly,the Coinbase CLO stated that the plaintiffs claims the sanctioning of Tornado Cash violates the First Amendment by burdening speech. They argue that utilizing the software to protect privacy while engaging in essential free speech activities, such as making important donations, is constitutionally protected.
They express concerns over the government’s response, which suggests finding alternative venues for exercising freedom of speech with fewer personal protections.
It is important to note that the plaintiffs are not requesting special treatment for cryptocurrency; they insist that the government adhere to the basic legal requirements outlined by Congress.
They emphasize the need for the government to meet these requirements before imposing a ban on a privacy tool that safeguards legal transactions and donations.
Nevertheless, as this legal battle unfolds, the outcome could have far-reaching implications for regulating cryptocurrencies and protecting individual rights in the digital age.
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