A Dutch court sentenced Alexey Pertsev, the developer of the cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash, to 64 months in prison for his role in money laundering activities.

The ruling has ignited discussions on the legal accountability of individuals who create open-source financial privacy tools.

Pertsev’s conviction is particularly noteworthy as it comes at a time when crypto mixers are under intense scrutiny for their role in obscuring the origins of digital currency transactions.

Tornado Cash, which faced U.S. sanctions in August 2022, is accused of facilitating the laundering of substantial funds by cybercriminals, including North Korean hackers.

Pertsev was arrested on August 10, 2022, after Tornado Cash was sanctioned by the U.S. for allegedly enabling the concealment of nearly $1.2 billion in illegal funds.

The crypto community has criticized the legal actions, defending the position that developers should not be held liable for how their open-source software is used.

The repercussions of this case are not confined to the Netherlands, as the U.S. has also demonstrated a firm approach against crypto mixers.

The Department of Justice’s recent arrest of the co-founders of Samourai Wallet indicates a broader international effort to clamp down on privacy-enhancing crypto technologies.

Keonne Rodriguez, co-founder of the privacy-focused crypto wallet Samourai Wallet, was granted release on a US$1 million bond last month.