Exchanges begin blocking accounts for interacting with privacy services

The FTX exchange has blocked the account of a user who sent funds through the Aztec Network platform, one of the second-tier networks for Ethereum that uses zkSNARKs technology and targets privacy.

The exchange had previously advised customers not to use cryptocurrency mixers, and has now identified the Aztec Network as a high-risk mixing service. The zkSNARK technology makes transactions private by hiding sender, recipient and amount details.

The attack on anonymity in crypto began with the blocking of Tornado.Cash. On 8 August, US authorities put Tornado.Cash on their sanctions list under the pretext that North Korean hackers were using the service to launder money.


The blocked wallets hold a total of $437 million in Stablecoin, ETH and WBTC.

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Since Tornado Cash was created in 2019, attackers have used it to launder more than $7 billion worth of cryptocurrency, over $455 million of which is linked to the activities of the North Korean hacking group Lazarus Group.

Tornado Cash was also used to launder more than $96 million from cybercriminals in the June 2022 Harmony network heist. In addition, at least $7.8 million stolen in the Nomad crosschain protocol hack in early August passed through the service.

The agency has blocked any Tornado Cash property within US borders. Residents and citizens of the country are banned from operating the service.

Recall that in May, the US Ministry of Finance put cryptocurrency mixer and its related bitcoin and Ethereum addresses on the sanctions list. The agency claims the service helped launder funds stolen by North Korean hackers and was allegedly involved in ransomware attacks.

## What this is all about:

1. that regulations are going to increase – the cryptosphere is expecting huge amounts of institutional money, and they need a clear regulatory framework;

2. Whoever wants to stay anonymous will stay anonymous anyway. The technology cannot be abolished, the code is open. In addition, new solutions will appear in spite of this. But it will be harder to stay anonymous; 3. As long as there is such a situation with unclear regulation of privacy networks and services, it is better to avoid interacting with them, or to do so in a way that cannot be traced.

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