Tornado Cash developer Alexey Pertsev filed an application with the Court of Appeal of 's-Hertogenbosch. The Russian intends to appeal the decision of a lower court, which found the creator of the mixer guilty of laundering criminal proceeds.

Lawyers for the developer of Tornado Cash draw the attention of the appeal court to the fact that their client should not be held responsible for how and for what purposes users of the cryptomixing service use his creation. The defense argues: Tornado Cash is a common open source software tool, and like any tool, it can be used for both good and questionable purposes.

The indictment in the case of Alexey Pertsev said that from July 2019 to August 2022, the defendant should have noticed warning signs and taken immediate action to stop the transactions of criminal networks, such as the North Korean hacker group Lazarus.

“Tornado Cash presents no obstacles for people with criminal assets who want to launder them. That is why the court finds the accused guilty of money laundering and imposes a sentence of 64 months in prison,” the court verdict says.

Alexey Pertsev is concerned, as follows from the text of the appeal: criminal prosecution of open source software developers could create a dangerous legal precedent. Because, following the logic of the court, software code developers can be held criminally liable for the uncontrolled actions of anonymous users.

The day before, Senators Cynthia Lummis and Ron Wyden sent a letter to US Attorney General Merrick Garland accusing the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Agency (FinCEN) of biased interpretation of liability for crypto crimes. The authors of the letter claim that FinCEN unreasonably criminalizes the circulation of digital assets and does not separate code developers from fraudsters. According to the senators, “software is no more to blame for illegal financial transactions than a highway is to blame for a bank robber's getaway car.”