Alexey Pertsev, the developer of Tornado Cash, an open-source crypto-mixing protocol, will continue to be detained until his next hearing on April 21, according to a ruling by a Dutch court.
The court of East Brabant in Holland has also scheduled a pre-trial review for May 24, as reported by The Block.
In August, Dutch authorities arrested Pertsev just days after the U.S. Treasury sanctioned Tornado Cash, alleging that the crypto mixing service facilitated the laundering of funds for malicious cyber actors, including a hacking group the FBI accuses of having connections to North Korea.
In total, Tornado Cash is being accused of laundering $7 billion worth of funds, including $455 million stolen by the North Korea-linked Lazarus group, the FBI alleges.
Tornado Cash is a service that allows users to pool their crypto funds with others. It is an open-source protocol that advocates privacy in mixing and pooling users’ funds within multiple wallets, obfuscating in/out-flows of funds, and offering anonymization services for cryptocurrencies.
According to the Dutch Ministry of Finance (FIOD), Pertsev stands accused of “concealing criminal financial flows and facilitating money laundering through the mixing of cryptocurrencies through the decentralized Ethereum mixing service Tornado Cash.”
So far, however, Pertsev has not been formally charged with a crime. He is being detained for 110-day intervals under a provision in Dutch law that allows for people to be held for such periods without being formally charged.
Pertsev has had three appeals rejected since his arrest, with the last one being denied in November 2022.
Several prominent blockchain developers have stood up for Pertsev online, with a number of them sharing links to the FreeAlex.nl page and a change.org petition, which so far has over 5,000 signatures in support of Pertsev.
On-chain data shows Bitcoin is emerging from the depths of despair
CryptoSlate’s latest market report dives deep into Bitcoin on-chain data suggesting that the bear market might be coming to an end.