The U.S. Treasury informed the public of Github’s decision and noted that Americans can copy, examine, and discuss the open source code. Visitors to the Tornado Cash repository can view the coding in read-only mode thanks to Github’s partial reinstatement.
Following the service’s decision to only partially reinstall the Tornado Cash open source code on the platform, the cryptocurrency community has been debating the internet hosting and software development platform Github. The ethereum mixer Tornado Cash and a number of ethereum addresses connected to the platform were sanctioned on August 8, 2022, by the regulatory watchdog OFAC of the U.S. Treasury Department. Following the publication of OFAC’s fines, independent platforms began to take action, and one open source coder was banned from Github.
After receiving harsh criticism from the cryptocurrency world, the U.S. Treasury updated the public on September 13, 2022, regarding Americans who are connected to Tornado Cash. For instance, U.S. citizens who conducted business with the ethereum mixing application before August 8 are exempt from all fines. A U.S. citizen could “seek a specific licence from OFAC to engage in transactions involving the subject virtual currency” if this were the case and they still had money on the application.
Open source software connected to Tornado Cash is also covered in OFAC’s frequently asked questions (FAQ) update. The regulatory division of the Treasury highlighted that “U.S. persons would not be prohibited by U.S. sanctions regulations from copying the open-source code and making it available online for others to view, as well as discussing, teaching about, or including open-source code in written publications,” the Treasury’s regulatory department noted.
Preston Van Loon, an Ethereum engineer, said that Github had partially reinstated the Tornado Cash codebase and unbanned codebase contributors after the FAQ update about ten days prior. The Tornado Cash organisation and contributors have been unbanned by Github, according to the developer. “Github has unbanned the Tornado Cash organisation and contributors on their platform,” the developer said. “It looks like everything is in ‘read only’ mode, but that is progress from an outright ban. I still encourage Github to reverse all actions and return the repositories to their former status,” Van Loon states.