Ksenia Malik, the wife of Tornado Cash creator Alexey Pertsev Wife attacked Dutch authorities for treating her husband as a “dangerous criminal” after his arrest last week.
The Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) arrested Pertsev on August 12 for allegedly using 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 being held in prison as if he were a dangerous criminal,” Malik said, as she expressed her concern that Pertsev was arrested without warning for what she sees as a harmless act:
“It’s very unexpected to me that a person can be arrested for writing open source code.”
Malik said she can “only guess how he’s doing and how difficult it is for him right now” because the Dutch authorities have banned her completely. [or anyone] of any contact with him, not even “one short call.”
Although Malik feels helpless in this regard, she is not without support. Decentralized finance (DeFi) aggregator 1inch organized a rally in Amsterdam August 20, show support for Pertsev and defend the rights of developers to create open source software.
1inch has been particularly vocal on the issue, saying that Pertsev’s arrest threatens to “set a dangerous precedent” because it could “kill the entire open source software segment” if developers are responsible for any software they create, which is. abused by others.
1/ Is it really a crime to be open source #blockchain developer at the moment ⁉️
Defend the right to build open source software!
Help Alex Pertsev get out of prison!
Why is it important ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/CqqD4Ds8AQ
— 1 Inch Network (@1inch) August 18, 2022
Regarding the efforts of 1inch and the wider crypto community, Malik said she is “very grateful to everyone who helps and supports my husband” because it proves that “people really care.”
Malik also hopes that the rally not only draws attention to Pertsev’s injustice, but also positively influences public opinion about the nature of open source code:
“We want to achieve publicity so that as many people as possible know about the arrest and the reasons for its error. This is a serious problem because every open source developer and many other people can be affected by this allegation.”
However, the arrest of Pertsev is not completely rejected. Venture capitalist Kevin O’Leary stated in a recent interview that crypto privacy tools like Tornado Cash are part of a “crypto-cowboy” culture that “confuses with the primal forces of regulation.” Continuing to describe Pertsev’s arrest as necessary.
“If we have to sacrifice him, that’s OK because we want to have some stability in that institutional capital,” he said.
Related: Tornado Cash sanctions will undermine US and strengthen crypto
Before 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.