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Apparently, all it takes to get someone blocked on Aave is to send that person some Ethereum from Tornado Cash. After all, this is exactly what has just transpired with Justin Sun, the CEO of the popular blockchain-based OS, TRON.
— H.E. Justin Sun🌞🇬🇩 (@justinsuntron) August 13, 2022
In a tweet posted moments ago, Sun has announced that his Aave address has now been blocked after someone randomly gifted him 0.1 Ethereum from Tornado Cash.
As a refresher, Aave is a decentralized lending protocol that allows users the ability to lend or borrow cryptocurrencies. Here, users deposit digital assets into designated liquidity pools from which funds are lent out, providing liquidity providers a handsome yield on their contributions based on the quantum of borrowing that is taking place on the platform at a given time. Aave loans are typically over-collateralized.
Tornado Cash is a blockchain protocol that allows users the facility of sending and receiving cryptocurrencies anonymously. This is done by mixing Ethereum coins with other tokens so as to render the origin of these transactions practically untraceable.
So why is Aave imposing sweeping bans on any transaction related to Tornado Cash? Well, the protocol was recently sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), citing its use by the North Korean hacker group Lazarus. Tornado Cash was also allegedly used to launder $103.8 million as a result of Harmony Bridge and Nomad Token Bridge hacks.
After Tornado Cash was sanctioned by OFAC, the Discord server of the protocol’s community, as well as the native website, was taken offline amid reports that the lead developer has been arrested in the Netherlands.
On the back of these developments, TORN – an ERC-20 token that serves as the native coin in the Tornado Cash ecosystem – has seen its price collapse. In fact, the coin’s price is down another 14 percent over the past 24 hours alone. The coin is currently trading at $12.30. For reference, TORN was trading at the $28 price handle just a week back.
This brings us to the crux of the matter. A blanket ban by Aave on anything related to Tornado Cash reeks of high-handedness, particularly as this policy can end up hurting intermediaries that had nothing to do with the ongoing Tornado Cash mess. Such high-handedness can rock the confidence in the entire crypto sphere.
We will update this post if we hear more from Aave on its policy related to transfers emanating from Tornado Cash.