Pro-Crypto Groups Support Roman Storm with Amicus Briefs








In a rapidly developing case, three cryptocurrency advocacy groups have filed amicus briefs in support of Tornado Cash developer Roman Storm, who has been indicted for his role in the creation and operation of the prominent crypto mixer platform. Storm, who has since been apprehended by US authorities, had earlier filed for a motion to dismiss the charges against him, describing them as “fatally flawed.” 

The US citizen, who is one of the three Tornado Cash developers, faces three charges from the US Department of Justice (DOJ) alongside Russian counterpart Roman Semenov who is currently on the loose. Meanwhile, Alexey Pertsev, the last Tornado Cash co-founder, is also undergoing trial in the Netherlands for similar reasons, with a court ruling expected on May 14.

Blockchain Association, Others Back Storm’s Dismissal Case

In solidarity with Tornado Cash developers, the Blockchain Association, Coin Center, and DeFi Education Fund each submitted an individual amicus brief on April 5, supporting Roman’s Storm motion to dismiss charges levied by the DOJ. 

All three advocacy groups generally criticized the indictment by the US government, however, with a separate focus on different charges. For instance, the Blockchain Association argued against the charge of conspiracy to operate as an unlicensed money-transmitting business.

The Washington-based pro-crypto group stated that in accordance with the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN),  Tornado Cash did not qualify as a money transmitter as the platform’s operations do not involve independent control over the movement of users’ assets. 

Meanwhile, the DeFi Education Fund slammed the DOJ’s charge of Roman Storm conspiring to violate the International Economic Emergency Powers Act (IEEPA). 

The crypto advocacy group questioned the US government’s novel interpretation of the IEEPA in this case,  which would make developers criminally liable for the use of their products or software by sanctioned entities. The DeFi Education Fund believes that such an application of the IEEPA is illegal and could intimidate software developers across all spaces.

Tornado Cash Developers Not Liable For Service Usage: Coin Center

Finally, Coin Center countered the DOJ’s charge of a conspiracy to commit money laundering stating that Roman Storm and his co-developers created Tornado Cash as a simple “freely available privacy tool” and are not responding for its uses either by a “criminal or law-abiding citizen.”

The crypto support group drew similarity to the use of cars by criminals in evading law enforcement agencies and these machines are simply still classified as a general means of transportation. In addition, Coin Center also highlighted efforts by the defendants to block access of known persons to the Tornado Cash service following complaints. 


Tornado CashTotal crypto market valued at $2.508 trillion on the daily chart | Source: TOTAL chart on Tradingview.com

Featured image from Bloomberg, chart from Tradingview.



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