Tornado Cash Developer Arrest Fuels Petition and Protests in Amsterdam

Following the placement of Tornado Cash’s crypto mixing service platform under the United States Treasury Department’s sanctions list, the protocol’s developer, Alex Pertsev, has also been nabbed by authorities in the Netherlands.


The arrest of Pertsev fueled a protest in Amsterdam on Saturday, with about 50 individuals carrying placards with the #FreeAlex. The essence of the protest and the online petition that started to demand his release was hinged on the fact that the creator of a website or item cannot be held responsible for the irresponsible usage of the assets they create.

This is the case with Pertsev with the prompt on, noting that the arrest is an attempt to discourage ingenious creativity within the open source software development space.

“Open-source software products have millions of users globally, while thousands of developers use open-source code in their projects. Open-source software is flexible and secure, as it can be audited, fixed, and improved by anyone,” the petition reads. “Now, Alex is being accused of creating open-source code used by Tornado Cash, a project under investigation in the US and Europe. But a developer has no control whatsoever over how their open-source code is subsequently used.”

The petition laid the basis with respect to how unjust the incarceration is, citing examples of how the developers of the Mozilla Firefox browser and VLC Media Player cannot be held responsible for how their platform is used. Daria Mironova, the original author of the petition, thus asked the public to get the petition signed by 2,500 and also encouraged participation in the protest that took place on Saturday.

The ultimate goal is to push the petition into a spotlight that will make it visible to local media; 2,500 signatures are needed to get this done, and as of the time of writing, the total accrued signatures have turned 1,755.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Kazakh government resigns, shuts down internet amid protests, causing Bitcoin network hash rate to tumble 13.4%

On Wednesday, Kazakhstan, the second-largest country in the world when it comes to Bitcoin (BTC) mining hash rate, experienced unprecedented political unrest due to a sharp rise in fuel prices. As a result, the country’s presiding cabinet resigned, but not before the state-owned Kazakhtelecom shut down the nation’s internet, causing network activity to plunge to 2% of daily heights.

The move dealt a severe blow to Bitcoin mining activity in the country. As per data compiled by, the Bitcoin network’s overall hash rate declined 13.4% in the hours after the shutdown from about 205,000 petahash per second (PH/s) to 177,330 PH/s. The country accounts for 18% of the Bitcoin network’s hash activity. 

Just days prior, the Kazakh government removed price caps on liquefied petroleum gas used for car fuel to align with market conditions, which doubled its price overnight, sparking violent protests. At the time of publication, the internet remains inaccessible in Kazakhstan. If extended, the consequences could be severe as internet services aside, the Data Center Industry & Blockchain Association of Kazakhstan expects the country to generate $1.5 billion from legal cryptocurrency mining (and another $1.5 billion in illicit) activities over the next five years.

The country’s low energy prices have attracted both domestic and foreign entities to set up shop for Bitcoin mining. According to Global Petrol Prices, electricity in Kazakhstan costs on average just $0.055 per kWh for businesses, a fraction of the $0.12 per kWh paid by U.S. businesses.