Ksenia Malik, the wife of Tornado Cash creator Alexey Pertsev Wife, has lashed out at Dutch authorities for treating her husband as a “dangerous criminal” following his arrest last week.
The Netherlands Tax Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) arrested Pertsev on August 12 for alleged use of the Ethereum-based privacy tool to launder money and hide criminal financial flows.
Speaking to Cointelegraph, Malik confirmed that Pertsev remains in the hands of Dutch authorities and has not had the opportunity to contact him since he was put behind bars.
“He is in prison as if he were a dangerous criminal,” Malik said, expressing concern that Pertsev would be arrested without warning for what she sees as harmless activity:
“It is very unexpected to me that a person could be arrested for writing open source code.”
Malik said he “can only guess how he is doing and how difficult it is for him right now” as he has been completely banned by the Dutch authorities. [or anyone] of any contact with him, not even “a brief call”.
Although Malik feels powerless in this regard, he is not without support. Decentralized finance (DeFi) aggregator 1inch has hosted a rally in Amsterdam August 20 to show support for Pertsev and defend the rights of developers to create open source software.
1inch has been particularly vocal on the matter, having said Pertsev’s arrest threatens to “create a dangerous precedent” as it could “kill the entire open source software segment” if developers are held accountable for any software they create. that is misused by others.
1/ Is it really a crime to be open source? #blockchain developer today ⁉️
Defend the right to create open source software!
Help Alex Pertsev get out of jail!
Because it is important? pic.twitter.com/CqqD4Ds8AQ
— 1 inch net (@1 inch) August 18, 2022
In light of the efforts of 1Inch and the broader crypto community, Malik said she is “very grateful to everyone who helps and supports my husband” as it shows that “people really do care.”
Malik also hopes that the demonstration will not only draw attention to Pertsev’s injustice, but also positively influence public opinion about the nature of open source code:
“We want to get publicity so that as many people as possible know about the arrest and why it was wrong. This is a serious problem, as all open source developers and many other people can be affected by this accusation.
However, Pertsev’s arrest is not entirely disapproved. Venture capitalist Kevin O’Leary stated in a recent interview that crypto privacy tools like Tornado Cash are part of a culture of “crypto cowboys” who “mess with the primary forces of regulation.” He while he continues to describe Pertsev’s arrest as necessary.
“If we have to sacrifice it, that’s fine, because we want to have some stability in that institutional capital,” he said.
Related: Tornado Cash Sanctions Will Undermine the US and Strengthen Crypto
Prior to the arrest, the US Office of Foreign Assets Control banned US residents from interacting with Tornado Cash on August 8 amid growing concerns that it was being used to launder money. The US Treasury believes that Tornado Cash has facilitated more than $7 billion in money laundering activity since Pertsev created Tornado Cash in 2019.