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GitHub unbans Tornado Cash repositories following OFAC guidance

GitHub unbans Tornado Cash repositories following OFAC guidance

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Crypto mixer Tornado Cash has returned to the software development platform GitHub after several weeks of website ban.

Ethereum developer Preston Van Loon took to Twitter on Thursday report that GitHub has partially removed the Tornado Cash organization and contributors on their platform. The developer suggested that Tornado Cash’s code repositories are now read-only, meaning that GitHub has not yet restored all functionality.

“But it’s progress from an outright ban. I’m still encouraging GitHub to reverse all actions and restore the repositories to their former state,” Van Loon said.

According to GitHub data, the most recent updates to the Tornado Cash repository were made on August 22, or shortly after Tornado Cash co-founder Roman Semenov announced that his account was on the platform. On August 8, the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) banned US residents from using Tornado Cash and blacklisted the mixer’s 44 USD Coin (USDC) and Ether (ETH) addresses.

Tornado Cash returned to GitHub shortly after OFAC clarified its policies regarding Tornado Cash on September 13, stating that US residents do not violate sanctions by copying Mixer’s code or making it available online. OFAC also stated that US persons would not be prohibited from visiting the Tornado Cash website if it becomes available online again.

Based on the Ethereum blockchain, Tornado Cash is a tool that allows users to hide their crypto transactions to protect their anonymity by obscuring the data paths of the blockchain. The Ethereum mixer came under scrutiny from global regulators following an OFAC ban that led to the arrests of Tornado Cash developers for allegedly engaging in money laundering through the platform.

Related: Tornado Cash left a void, time will tell what fills it – Chainalysis Chief Scientist

The ongoing controversy surrounding Tornado Cash has raised a lot of questions in the cryptocurrency and developer community, with many people concerned about the legal issues associated with writing open source code. Some major crypto companies also opposed the Treasury Department’s actions when the Coinbase exchange decided to support a lawsuit filed by Tornado Cash users against OFAC.

As previously reported, Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin publicly claimed that he used Tornado Cash to donate funds to Ukraine in order to protect the financial privacy of recipients.