GitHub lifts the ban on Tornado Cash, restoring the platform’s code and profile to its website

GitHub lifts the ban on Tornado Cash, restoring the platform's code and profile to its website

The source for the Ethereum coin mixer Tornado, has been uploaded to GitHub once again, however using the protocol for transactions is still prohibited.

After being absent for more than a month, the code for the Ethereum coin mixer Tornado Cash has returned to GitHub.

The U.S. Treasury announced penalties against Tornado Cash addresses on August 8. That prompted GitHub to instantly ban the service’s and its developers’ accounts.

Last week, the Treasury made it clear that the restrictions imposed on Tornado Cash do not extend to the application’s source code, only to the Ethereum addresses used by the coin mixer.

Although Tornado Cash transactions are forbidden, “interacting with [the] open-source code itself… is not illegal,” according to those clarifications.

Presumably, GitHub became aware of this on its own or after the community alerted it to the change.

At least one prominent person supported the reinstatement of Tornado Cash. On September 13, Preston Van Loon, an Ethereum core engineer, pushed for the ban to be lifted.

He stated today that the Tornado Cash organization and contributors on GitHub have now been “unbanned.”

The re-admission of Tornado Cash to GitHub does not imply that work on the coin mixer will proceed as usual.

All pages under the main profile of the project have the status “public archives,” which can be changed but implies that no further development is allowed.

Van Loon observed that although everything appears to be in “read-only” mode, this is an improvement than an absolute prohibition. He pleaded with GitHub to fully revert the account to its prior state.

Since August 24, there has been an independent, unofficial archive of Tornado Cash’s source code on GitHub. Professor Matthew Green of Johns Hopkins University built that archive.

Despite these advancements, Tornado Cash’s future is still unclear. Although there are still restrictions on Tornado Cash addresses that limit its use, users can still access the service because of its decentralized nature.


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