Also today, why top celebrities are being warned their social media posts endorsing NFTs could be breaking the law.
The U.S. has sanctioned Tornado Cash, amid allegations it has been used to launder more than $7 billion worth of cryptocurrencies over the past three years. Treasury Department officials claim the Lazarus Group, sponsored by North Korea, has used this tool extensively after stealing digital assets. "Tornado Cash has repeatedly failed to impose effective controls designed to stop it from laundering funds for malicious actors," officials say. Tornado Cash is based on the Ethereum blockchain — and obfuscates the origin and destination of crypto transactions, as well as who is sending and receiving the funds. The sanctions mean "all property" belonging to Tornado Cash that's based in the U.S. must now be blocked.
As hundreds of thousands of people remain locked out of their crypto savings, some good news if you're with Zipmex… kind of. The exchange says users will now be able to withdraw part of the Bitcoin and Ether in their accounts later this week. However, the amount of crypto that can be withdrawn will be capped. It comes days after Solana, XRP and Cardano withdrawals were allowed to resume. Estimates suggest about 60% of users will end up getting their funds back in full as a result of the relaxed rules. Zipmex was caught up in the crypto contagion because it had exposure to Babel Finance. The Thai Securities Exchange Commission has been seeking information on how many customers have been affected.
A-list celebrities are being urged to disclose whether they have a connection to the NFT companies they are promoting. Truth in Advertising has sent letters to a number of stars — including Gwyneth Paltrow, Floyd Mayweather and Paris Hilton. The organization claims business relationships with major collections need to be disclosed under FTC law. "The bottom line is celebrities who promote NFTs generally aren’t helping improve the financial literacy of their fans and followers. And while some of these celebrities are able to take risks due to their massive wealth, many vulnerable consumers don’t have that luxury," Truth in Advertising said. It has previously taken action against Justin Bieber and Reese Witherspoon.