Alex Pertsev, one of the main developers of Tornado Cash, will continue behind bars in the Netherlands. The court in charge of the case has declared that the programmer has a high flight risk which has caused the sentence to be extended until February 20.
The developer was arrested just two days after the US Treasury declared transactions with the cryptocurrency mixer illegal. Pertsev was charged with contributing to money laundering for having developed Tornado Cash, according to Dutch authorities.
Three months later, the prosecution declares that given the decentralization of Tornado Cash, Pertsev "could not control or contribute to the activities of this instrument." Recognizing the innocence of the accused, the authorities are looking for a new culprit and while they search for this new culprit, they will keep the developer in police custody.
#FREEALEX & #FreeTheCode
The developer's arrest sparked a protest for his freedom, led by his family and wife. Pertsev's arrest marked the beginning of the revolution in favor of free software development rights. The protesters stated that the defendant should not be held responsible for the misuse of this tool, which is designed to protect the privacy of its users.
“Would you arrest a gun maker for facilitating a public shooting? or Would you knife maker for facilitating a stabbing?”, the messages on the protestors' signs.
Protestors stated that these accusations could mean the end of open source development, since "no one will invest in this segment if they can be accused of the use that third parties give to the tool they have created." The Dutch authorities maintain that Tornado Cash's programmers benefited from transaction fees, although Pertsev's work was actually confined to programming the code and he did not receive any transaction fees.
In any case, if convicted, it would set a precedent against open-source developers, who could be prosecuted based on how users use the tool in question. Now, the defendant must wait until February 20, when the preliminary hearing will take place. Until then, Pertsev will remain behind bars, where he has already spent 3 months.
Do you think that the crime is the fault of the manufacturer of the tool or the one who uses it for malicious purposes?