What is Tornado Cash (TORN)?

Tornado Cash is a fully decentralized non-custodial protocol allowing private transactions in the crypto-space that was launched in May 2020. It is a decentralized protocol based on zero-knowledge proofs with smart contracts that are immutable, and permissionless, and the proofs are based on strong cryptography, allowing only the user possessing the note can link deposit and withdrawal.

Since its inception in 2019, Tornado Cash has been operating on the Ethereum blockchain. The protocol has been offering diversified fixed amount pools for six tokens (ETH, DAI, cDAI, USDC, USDT, and WBTC) handled by the Ethereum blockchain.

Since June 2021, in addition to the Ethereum blockchain, Tornado Cash smart contracts have also been deployed on other side-chains & blockchains. These deployments enabled the tool to either support new tokens or benefit from Layer-2 advantages, such as faster and cheaper transactions.

As of today, Tornado Cash is operating on:

Ethereum Blockchain : ETH (Ethereum), DAI (Dai), cDAI (Compound Dai), USDC (USD Coin), USDT (Tether) & WBTC (Wrapped Bitcoin),

Binance Smart Chain: BNB (Binance Coin),

Polygon Network: MATIC (Polygon),

Gnosis Chain (former xDAI Chain): xDAI (xDai),

Avalanche Mainnet: AVAX (Avalanche),

Optimism, as a Layer-2 for ETH (Ethereum),

Arbitrum One, as a Layer-2 ETH (Ethereum).

Like most decentralized projects, Tornado Cash also possesses unique platform features that ease users’ interactions and transactions on the app. Tornado Cash Nova is a unique Tornado Cash feature that serves as an upgraded pool with unique new features. It establishes ease as users are no longer constrained by fixed-amount transactions. 

With the addition of Tornado Cash Nova, they can benefit from the use of an arbitrary amount pool & shielded transfers.

Tornado Cash Nova operates on the Gnosis Chain (former xDai Chain) as a Layer2 to optimize speed and cost and also allows deposits and withdrawals of completely customized amounts in ETH. 

As regards processing transactions, Tornado Cash uses the Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge (also called zk-SNARK) to verify & allow transactions.

To process a deposit, Tornado Cash generates a random area of bytes, computes it through the  (as it is friendlier with zk-SNARKs), then sends the token & the 20 MiMC hash to the smart contract. The contract will then be inserted into the Merkle tree.

To process a withdrawal, the same area of bytes is split into two separate parts: the secret on one side & the nullifier on the other side. The nullifier is hashed. This nullifier is a public input that is sent on-chain to be checked with the smart contract & the Merkle tree data. It avoids double-spending for instance.

Through zk-SNARK, it is possible to prove the 20 MiMC hash of the initial commitment and the nullifier without revealing any information. Even if the nullifier is public, privacy is sustained as there is no way to link the hashed nullifier to the initial commitment.

Besides, even if the information about the transaction is present in the Merkle root, the information about the exact Merkle path, and subsequently the location of the transaction, is still kept private.

Deposits are simple from a technical point of view, but expensive in terms of gas as they need to compute the 20 MiMC hash & update the Merkle tree. On the other hand, the withdrawal process is complex but cheaper as gas is only needed for the nullifier hash and the zero-knowledge proof.

TORN is an ERC20-compatible token with a fixed supply that governs and allows holders to make proposals and vote to change the protocol via governance. Note, TORN is not a fundraising device or investment opportunity.

 

Who are the founders of Tornado Cash (TORN)?

The founder of Tornado Cash is Roman Semenov. He serves as a co-founder and has had years of experience. He was the co-founder of PepperSec where he performs a comprehensive security analysis of web and mobile apps, the Cofounder of RedHelper, where he developed a service that can significantly boost the sales of any e-commerce platform, and the Co-Founder and CTO of

Viking Studio where he was the leading provider of Social Media Marketing software on the Russian market.

 

What is Tornado Cash (TORN) used for?

Mining

Until December 2021, the protocol included an anonymity mining system for some of these tokens, allowing its users to earn a governance token (TORN). This new mining system has helped TORN participants earn more TORN tokens.

Depositing in liquidity pools

Users were able to ultimately earn TORN on the Blockchain network by depositing in the ETH, DAI, cDAI & WBTC pools.

Community Participation

Thanks to the TORN token, Tornado Cash users can actively participate in shaping the protocol because the TORN community has a strong weight regarding the evolution of Tornado Cash and the improvement of its features. Also, protocol parameters & token distribution are completely under the community’s control through this governance.

 

How is Tornado Cash (TORN) unique?

Tornado Cash runs on smart contacts, circuits & toolchains, which are all fully open-sourced. The decentralized project works as a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization), hence all its procedures as regard to governance and mining smart contracts are deployed by its community.

The protocol also functions with zk-SNARK, which enables zero-knowledge proofs allowing users to demonstrate possession of information without needing to reveal it. The use of this technology is based on open-source research made by the Zcash team with the help of the Ethereum community. 

To achieve privacy, Tornado Cash uses smart contracts that accept token deposits from one address and enable their withdrawal from a different address. Those smart contracts work as pools that mix all deposited assets.

 

How many Tornado Cash (TORN) coins are in circulation?

TORN has a fixed supply value of 10,000,000 TORN coins. Here’s the distribution of TORN:

5% (500,000 TORN): Airdrop to early users of  ETH pools

10% (1,000,000 TORN): Anonymity mining for  ETH pools, distributed linearly over 1 year.

55% (5,500,000 TORN): DAO treasury, will be unlocked linearly over 5 years with a 3-month cliff.

30% (3,000,000 TORN): Founding developers and early supporters, will be unlocked linearly over 3 years with a 1-year cliff.

 

How is the Tornado Cash Network secured?

As a decentralized protocol, Tornado Cash smart contracts have been implemented within the Ethereum blockchain, making them immutable. Hence, they can neither be changed nor tampered with. Therefore, nobody—including the original developers—can modify or shut them down. 

Also, all governance and mining smart contracts are deployed by the community in a decentralized manner. As a non-custodial protocol, users keep custody of their cryptocurrencies while operating Tornado Cash. This means that at each deposit, they are provided with the private key enabling access to the deposited funds, which gives users complete control over their assets.

Tornado Cash achieves transaction privacy by breaking the on-chain link between source and destination addresses. It uses a smart contract that accepts ETH and other token deposits from one address and enables their withdrawal from a different address.

To maximize privacy, several steps like the use of a relayer for gas payments to withdraw funds from an address with no pre-existing balance are employed. Once the funds are withdrawn by a completely new address from those pools, the on-chain link between the source & the destination is broken. The withdrawn crypto-assets are therefore anonymized.

While tokens are in a Tornado Cash pool, the custody remains in users’ hands. Users, therefore, have complete control over their tokens.

 

How do I buy Tornado Cash (TORN)?

The TORN token can be used for a wide range of uses like staking and community participation.

Tokens can be easily purchased by following the steps below. 

* Open an account with the crypto trading platform.

* Transfer the specific amount of your fiat currency to your account.

* Wait for your deposit to be confirmed and buy TORN through your trading account.

 

Which Cryptocurrency Wallet Supports Tornado Cash (TORN)?

The PTPWallet platform supports many cryptocurrencies simultaneously, such as Tornado Cash (TORN). Because of its vast use case, it has grown to become one of the most used platforms, as it serves as an exchange and an engine to discover other cryptocurrencies. Users can easily use PTPWallet as their TORN wallet because it offers a simple interactive interface, making it easy for people to navigate its system.

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