Today in Crypto: Jamaica Entices New Users

Tornado Cash, which is one of the most popular means of obfuscating crypto transactions, does not have to comply with sanctions against Russia, according to one of its co-founders.

As Bloomberg reported Thursday, March 10, the service is intended to help maintain privacy by breaking the link between sender and recipient addresses.

Roman Semonov, one of the founders, said that there was “not much to do” regarding sanctions against Russia, because the project stems from decisions made by pre-written software and not by people. Tornado Cash also does not provide custodial services and does not have a central host for its website.

Meanwhile, Jamaica announced Thursday that it will be giving away $16 in free money to the first 100,000 residents using its impending digital coin Jam-Dex.

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness, in a Facebook post, said those who activate their digital wallets after the currency goes live will receive an “incentive” of J$2,500.

This comes as Jamaica is one of the few Caribbean countries to have issued central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), or the digital versions of their countries’ respective official currencies.

Separately, a Canadian accused of dozens of ransomware crimes, Sébastien Vachon-Desjardins, 34, has been extradited to the United States, according to a CoinDesk report on Thursday.

More than $28 million in bitcoins was also seized from the man’s home in connection with the case. Vachon-Desjardins was arrested in Quebec in January, with law enforcement taking 719 bitcoins, worth more than $28 million at current prices.

Vachon-Desjardins was charged with conspiracy to commit computer fraud and wire fraud, willful damage to a protected computer and extortion. According to the report, a protected computer is used either by the US government or by a financial institution.

Finally, four Princeton University alumni from the 1980s who are now big names in cryptocurrency are donating $20 million to their former school, Bloomberg reported.

The money is intended for research on better understanding the use of blockchain. It will be housed at the School of Engineering and Applied Science, Princeton said Thursday.

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