Crypto Mixer Used by North Korea Slapped With US Sanctions

Tornado Cash, a popular cryptocurrency service that allows users to mask their transactions, was sanctioned by the US Treasury Department after North Korean hackers relied on it to launder illicit gains, officials announced on Monday. The sanctions bar American companies and individuals from doing business with it.

The platform facilitates anonymous transactions by mixing funds from different sources before transmitting them to the ultimate beneficiary. Tornado Cash has been used to launder more than $7 billion in virtual currency, a senior Treasury official said in a press conference. North Korea’s Lazarus Group has laundered about $450 million through the service, according to the official. It was also used to launder more than $100 million in the June hack of the Harmony blockchain’s Horizon Bridge, which allows crypto trading between other blockchains, the official said.