Alex Pertsev, the developer behind cryptocurrency mixing service Tornado Cash, is set to be released from jail under surveillance after spending nearly nine months in prison on suspicion of money laundering.
Alex Pertsev, the developer behind Tornado Cash, is scheduled to be released from jail after nearly nine months of incarceration. Pertsev was taken into custody in August of the previous year by Dutch officials, who suspected him of participating in money laundering activities via the cryptocurrency mixing service, Tornado Cash.
Sources familiar with the situation confirmed that Pertsev is slated to return home by April 26, which is coincidentally his birthday. The conditional release will allow the detained Tornado Cash developer to await trial at home under surveillance.
Pertsev’s arrest occurred shortly after the U.S. Treasury Department added several Tornado Cash addresses to the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) sanctions list on August 8. The conditional release will require Pertsev to wear an ankle monitor, as mentioned by his wife.
In November, a Dutch court rejected Pertsev’s request for release under surveillance due to the prosecution’s claim that he posed a flight risk. The prosecution has maintained that Pertsev was a key player in Tornado Cash’s operations. His bail application was denied again in February.
Cryptocurrency mixers, or mixing services, are platforms that obscure the origins of crypto transactions.
The goal of these services is to provide anonymity and make transactions difficult to trace. They often blend one cryptocurrency transaction with others and distribute them to multiple wallet addresses. Tornado Cash was a popular mixing service prior to the sanctions.
The announcement of Pertsev’s conditional release was met with enthusiasm from the crypto community.
A crypto educator and founder of Crypto Canal, who was present during the hearing, highlighted the significance of Pertsev’s ability to work on his defense outside of detention. They noted that being able to “walk around and focus on his defense” was virtually unattainable while he remained in custody.