Decentralized exchange Uniswap has appeared to block 253 wallet addresses linked to illicit financial activities on its front end after the U.S. government imposed sanctions on Tornado Cash earlier this month.

See related article: Largest Ether mining pool Ethermine stops processing Tornado Cash transactions

Fast facts

  • DeFi platform Yearn developer Banteg tweeted on Saturday that 30 out of the 253 blocked addresses were Ethereum Name Service (ENS) domain names, and that “most are likely legitimate users that have fallen to TRM collateral damage.”
  • Uniswap has partnered with TRM Labs to screen and monitor suspicious financial activities, including those related to mixing service Tornado Cash.
  • “We intend to only block wallets that are owned or associated with clearly illegal behavior like: sanctions, terrorism financing, hacked or stolen funds, ransomware, human trafficking, and child sexual abuse material,” Uniswap said in a recent post.
  • Tornado Cash is a protocol on Ethereum that facilitates anonymous transactions by mixing coins of multiple users before sending them to their destination address.
  • The U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions against Tornado Cash on Aug. 8, alleging it has facilitated laundering of more than US$7 billion worth of virtual currencies since 2019.
  • Sun Huang, chief security officer and general manager of Taiwan-based fiat-crypto exchange XREX, told Forkast that such a blockage could help fight financial crimes, but exchanges need to keep iterating and upgrading their screening tools to avoid blocking innocent users.

See related article: U.S. Treasury overstepping authority in Tornado Cash sanction, says advocacy group Coin Center