Charles Hoskinson, the co-founder of Cardano blockchain platform, criticized the U.S. for blacklisting Tornado Cash for breaking sanctions.
The government has criticized Tornado Cash, a decentralized Ethereum protocol for private transactions, for helping to launder more than $7 billion in digital assets.
Hoskinson claimed in a video that the U.S. government is setting a very risky precedent by claiming that software makers are responsible for how their products are utilized, whether or not they have any control over it.
Hoskinson said, “The protocol in developer understanding that we have as developers is that when we write code, it’s an expression. As long as we don’t get involved in the running and use of that code for purposes, we’re just writing it, it’s like writing a book.”
The code was just written by Tornado Cash.
“So, for example, you could write a book saying ‘here’s how you make cyanide’ [or] ‘Here’s how you build a bomb,’ these types of things, and for the most part, that’s just words. You’re not telling people to go do this,” he said. “Now, in a free society, we generally allow people to do these types of things, and it’s deeply uncomfortable when they start saying no.”
He provided another illustration, saying
“if you want to go really far in the extreme, the Linux kernel developers are creating the kernel of an operating system. North Korea could take that kernel, build a proprietary operating system and use that to be an operating system of an ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile).” He continued, “So hypothetically, you could say the maintainers of the Linux kernel are contributing to the nuclear weapons program of North Korea. You could say that if you wanted to.”
“So obviously, that’s absurd,” Hoskinson concluded. “But the problem is that the same legal structure that would allow you to infer blame onto the developer if they weren’t involved in the use and operation of the system. They just wrote the code that could technically be used this way.”