The U.S. v Web 3.0Are Smart Contracts Next in the Line of Fire?

A very recent piece of news is racking experts’ and enthusiasts’ brains alike with the question what’s behind the U.S. ban on Tornado Cash and what’s to follow. Tornado Cash is a decentralized, open-source protocol for private transactions on the Ethereum network. The ban is related to suspicions for money laundering facilitated and executed through it.

“On Monday, the U.S. Treasury Department issued a blanket ban on crypto mixing service Tornado Cash. All American “persons” are barred from interacting with the open-source protocol, in a move that is likely to have widespread implications for the world of crypto,” reported Coindesk. Officials from the Treasury said that Tornado Cash is, “a virtual currency mixer that launders the proceeds of cyber crimes, including those committed against victims in the United States.”

Decrypt has closely followed the debate in social media that erupted as a result of the government sanction. Experts and industry leaders differed in opinion about the ban’s legality and appropriateness.

An interesting segment of it is the talk on Smart Contracts (SCs). SCs are being studied, theoretically and empirically, and experimented with for several years now. Many interpret the U.S. Treasury Department recent ban as an unprecedented sanction directly against the technology behind SCs themselves. Others view it as a regular action of the authorities against the crypto business. Is users’ privacy of transactions severely interfered with? Are more stringent AML/CFT measures coming along? Will the sanction in question affect other similar products/services in the crypto industry?

Nonetheless, this debate also tackles some ethical and philosophical implications of the notions of HUMAN and CODE and to what extent they will be perceived as conflicting, including in practical terms, remains to be seen.

Original source of news: Decrypt.

Pavla Tsvetkova

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Tags: Smart contracts