Celebs receive Ethereum ‘dust’ from Tornado Cash: What’s cooking?

Lavina Daryanani
Tornado Cash
Source: GovInfoSecurity

After the US Treasury Department banned Tornado Cash and a host of associated Ethereum addresses, an anonymous user of the mixer has been “dusting” the wallets of well-known people and institutions.

Per on-chain data, a number of celebrities received small amounts of Ethereum, mostly 0.1 ETH, from the platform. Based on reactions on social media, it all appears to be a troll, and the user has allegedly been targeting high-profile linked addresses to instigate regulatory inspection.

Recipients of Ethereum dust

Data from Etherscan revealed that the wallets of Snoop Dogg, Steve Aoki, Logan Paul, Jimmy Fallon, Brian Armstrong, PUMA, and Beeple were among the bunch of recipients. Most transfers took place yesterday.

However, it doesn’t seem like everything is done and dusted. At press time, it was noted that the said anonymous address had last transferred ETH to an unidentified address just 20 minutes back.

Source: Etherscan

Who is to be blamed?

Well, a day back, a particular user—depression2019—teased the idea of dropping 0.1 ETH to wallets. Resultantly, there have been speculations that either the same person is behind the Ethereum dusting or someone else picked up the idea from the said user’s tweet and gave it life.

Also, at this point, it would not be wrong to contend that the jest intended to point out the loopholes with respect to the latest sanctions imposed. By transferring Ethereum, the said user has been able to re-emphasize that addresses hardly have any control to decline transfers.

Per US laws, the penalty for intentionally breaking OFAC sanctions includes prison time and fines between $90,000 to $308,000 per violation. Now that the mass dusting has managed to gain mainstream spotlight, it’s obvious that the dusted people/institutions had no intention of receiving funds from the sanctioned entity, and might not necessarily be investigated.

Gag aside, how has the community been reacting?

The community, as a whole, did not receive the sanctions well. A particular user took Twitter to bring to light the genuine need for privacy by giving an example of donations and highlighting the uneasiness associated with disclosure to regulators.

In fact, the same was a topic of discussion in one of Watcher Guru’s recent analyses.
Read More: Will Monero, Zcash face Government Sanctions in the future?

Reverting back to the same, Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin went on to reveal that he’s a user of Tornado Cash and he had used it to donate to Ukraine, obliquely hinting that the mixer has been used for good causes as well.