Tornado Cash transactions are declined by the largest Ethereum (ETH) miner

Ethermine, the main mining pool on Ethereum (ETH), no longer produces blocks containing Tornado Cash transactions since August 9th. However, the parent company of Ethermine is an Austrian company, which therefore does not depend on US Treasury sanctions.

Ethermine no longer processes blocks containing Tornado Cash transactions

Etherminethe largest miner on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain, has stopped producing blocks containing transactions of Tornado Cash. In any case, this is what the on-chain analysis seems to show, and has been for more than a week now:

the block 15306892, produced on August 9, would therefore have been the last containing a Tornado Cash transaction, produced by Ethermine. This change thus took place the day after the sanctions of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

Note that Ethermine is not a solitary miner, but what is called a mining pool. This means that many independent miners pool their computing power to produce blocks.

This decision is all the more significant because of the importance of Ethermine in the ecosystem. If we refer for example to the last 24 hours, the pool weighs 30% of the hashratemore than double that of its main competitor:

Figure 1: 24-hour Ethereum (ETH) blockchain miner ranking

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A debatable choice

Ethermine’s choice to no longer process blocks containing transactions related to the Tornado Cash smart contract raises several questions.

Firstly, it is not certain that this measure reflects the opinion of all participants in the pool. But above all, Bitfly Gmbh, the parent company of Ethermine, is based in Vienna, Austria. Which means she does not fall under the jurisdiction of OFACwhich is supposed to have influence only in American affairs.

This echoes another information of the week concerning Vitalik Buterin. The latter spoke in favor of a burn of the ETH of the validators of the Beacon Chain, who would choose to follow the various sanctions of the regulators. Indeed, if the actors in charge of securing a network begin to choose which block to validate or not, this goes completely against the principles of decentralization.

On the side of the Tornado Cash smart contract, we can see that since the start of the sanctions, the number of transactions interacting with it has considerably reduced :

Tornado Cash transactions

Figure 2: Number of transactions on the Tornado Cash smart contract

Since August 8, we can effectively point out that daily transactions struggling to exceed 250. This could therefore well mark the end of the protocol, because, who says fewer transactions, says more facility to go back to the source during possible investigations.

👉 Also in the news – Tornado Cash: the crypto community is mobilizing to free the creator of the code

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Source: Etherscan

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