By: Eliza Bennet
The U.S. Treasury Department has issued sanctions against crypto mixing service Sinbad.io, accusing the platform of facilitating money laundering operations by North Korea's state-sponsored hacker group, Lazarus. According to official statements, Sinbad processed millions of dollars in cryptocurrency, exploited in various high-level cyberattacks by Lazarus.
The Department has previously imposed sanctions on crypto mixers Blender and Tornado Cash. Specifically, Sinbad laundered funds from hacking events tied to Atomic Wallet, Axie Infinity, and Horizon Bridge, which witnessed a combined loss of about $820 million. The Treasury Department reiterated its commitment to deploying all necessary measures to prevent virtual currency mixers from aiding illegal activities.
The Department of Justice, alongside Netherlands' Fiscal Information and Investigation Service, Finland's National Bureau of Investigation, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, seized the Sinbad website. With the increasing regulations, the Treasury Department insists that such sanctions are implemented not as punishment, but to promote a positive shift in behavior.
These sanctions have been met with resistance from some sections of the crypto space. Post-sanctions implementations on Tornado Cash, some investors backed by Coinbase filed a lawsuit against the Treasury department, with claims that it overreached its authorities. A judgement ruled in favor of Treasury, with an appeal lodged in November.
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