Vitalik Puts Money Where His Mouth Is to Back Tornado Cash

The Ethereum co-founder is an open advocate for privacy and is joining the support for the co-founders.

Vitalik Butterin pointing at a cash tornado spinning dollars.
Created by Gabor Kovacs from DailyCoin
  • Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has contributed to the legal fund for Tornado Cash developers.
  • Tornado Cash Founders Alexey Pertsev and Roman Storm are embroiled in a legal battle over money laundering allegations.
  • Other industry figures have lent support to the mixer’s founders.

The woes of crypto mixer Tornado Cash and its founders, Alexey Pertsev and Roman Storm, have lasted over several months. They are riddled with accusations of money laundering and the facilitation of illegal transactions for sanctioned individuals. The months-long proceedings have recently taken a downturn, culminating in Pertsev’s 64-month sentence by a Dutch court on May 14, 2024.

However, community support for the founders has not waned, and a top industry figure is joining in with financial support for the legal process.

Tornado Cash Bags Vitalik Support

On Thursday, May 30, a crypto wallet linked to Vitalik Buterin transferred a total of 30 ETH to the Juicebox-based fund supporting the ongoing legal process involving Tornado Cash developers, labeled “Free Alexey & Roman.”


The Ethereum co-founder’s donation, worth approximately $111,000, brings the total raised on the funding platform to 591 ETH, valued at over $2.2 million at press time. This follows Buterin’s recent comments at an event in Berlin when he asserted that the 5-year sentence for co-founder Pertsev is unfortunate.

“It's definitely really, really sad, and I hope that with Roman’s trial in the U.S., we get some positive clarity there,” stated Buterin, before adding that “privacy is really important.”

Buterin has frequently advocated for privacy in the crypto industry, aligning with other industry figures’ sentiments against the recently heightened sanctions on the sector.

Crypto Mixer Crackdown: Fight Against Privacy?

Over the past months, regulatory authorities have taken a stance against mixing services in the crypto industry, alleging that they enable terrorist organizations and illegal entities to circumvent the law through their anonymous nature. 


Apart from Tornado Cash, other mixers such as Samourai Wallet have also faced scrutiny, marked by the arrest of founders Keonne Rodriguez and William Lonergan Hill in April 2024 on similar charges

However, several pro-privacy advocates have denounced the regulatory actions as a war on privacy, criticizing them as an overstep of government authority. X user Yan asserted that criminal use is a small fraction of mixing, emphasizing the legitimacy of service providers and their impact on the industry.

Privacy advocate Edward Snowden, an open supporter of Tornado Cash, has also often advocated for making privacy more default and accessible, underscoring its importance with his assertion that “Privacy is not a crime.”

On the Flipside

  • Tornado Cash co-founder Roman Storm is currently held in the United States, with his trial scheduled for September 2024.
  • In September 2023, Vitalik Buterin co-authored an alternative for Tornado Cash that can coexist with regulatory standards.
  • On May 9, 2024, four US senators proposed a 2-year ban for crypto mixers.

Why This Matters

The ongoing legal challenges faced by the founders of Tornado Cash have only intensified, with recent developments casting a shadow over their future. However, the support of industry figures like Vitalik Buterin could provide a glimmer of hope in their otherwise bleak situation.

Read more about more funding ventures for Tornado Cash prior to Vitalik Buterin’s contribution:
Tornado Cash Supporters Riled as GoFundMe Halts Campaign Fund 

The SEC is facing major financial liability following the Debt Box slip up, read more:
SEC Slapped with $1.8M Legal Fees for Debt Box Misconduct

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Grace Abidemi

Grace Abidemi, a cryptocurrency reporter at DailyCoin, covers industry developments and trends. She previously worked as a freelance writer. With a Bachelor's degree in German Language and certifications in marketing and storytelling, Grace creates engaging content. When not working, she's in Nigeria, mastering cooking and canvas painting, and enjoys learning about different cultures and languages.