A group of pro-crypto organizations has filed an amicus brief in support of a lawsuit challenging the legality of sanctions imposed on the decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol Tornado Cash.
The amicus brief, filed by the Blockchain Association, the DeFi Education Fund, and Coin Center, argues that the sanctions imposed by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) are unlawful.
The OFAC imposed sanctions on Tornado Cash in February, alleging that it was being used by criminals to launder money. However, the pro-crypto groups argue that the sanctions are unprecedented and violate the First Amendment right to free speech.
“The OFAC has never before sanctioned software,” the amicus brief states. “The sanctions against Tornado Cash are a clear overreach of the OFAC’s authority.”
The pro-crypto groups also argue that the sanctions violate the right to due process. The OFAC did not provide Tornado Cash with an opportunity to challenge the sanctions before they were imposed.
“The OFAC’s decision to impose sanctions on Tornado Cash was arbitrary and capricious,” the amicus brief states. “Tornado Cash was denied due process and the opportunity to defend itself.”
The lawsuit challenging the Tornado Cash sanctions is still pending. However, the amicus brief filed by the pro-crypto groups is a significant development in the fight for crypto privacy.
The lawsuit and the amicus brief are a sign that the crypto community is willing to fight back against government overreach and that they are not willing to give up their privacy rights.