The US government’s decision to sanction addresses associated with Tornado Cash was jarring news for the crypto world. Although the possibility of government intervention of this sort was certainly on our radar, for many of us it was a jolt to see it actually come to fruition.
Due to this unprecedented step from the US government, which has compelled quick action in order to stay in compliance, the Pocket Portal will be blocking interaction with a number of addresses associated with Tornado Cash.
What Went Into This Decision?
Upon hearing news of the sanctions, our leadership team immediately began determining the necessary path forward, and the steps that would need to be taken in order to stay in compliance.
While Pocket is a global protocol, and the Pocket DAO also makes up a “supranational” entity, Pocket Network Inc. (PNI) is nevertheless still an American company. PNI operates the Pocket Portal, and that portal acts as an access point for anyone looking to utilize Pocket’s data relay services. The connection between PNI and the Pocket Portal means that any activity involving the Portal is absolutely required to be in compliance with US regulations. Without that compliance, Pocket loses its chance to continue on, and achieve, its mission.
As Pocket Network co-founder and CEO Michael O’Rourke mentioned in his own post on this topic, Pocket was built to be the most censorship-resistant, reliable, and performant RPC infrastructure provider in the world. Operating within a complex and ever-changing set of regulations is nothing new for game-changing technologies throughout time, and we will continue to do what is needed to achieve our vision while complying with these regulatory frameworks.
Furthermore, the future launch of Pocket’s V1 will offer a path forward where the Portal is not needed as a centralized stopgap, and we can take another huge step towards decentralizing the demand side of Pocket’s service. We will share any and all updates on V1 development as they come up, and you can check out our V1 roadmap in the meantime.