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Who owns the most Tornado Cash tokens? TORN token whale analysis

By Ankish Jain

Edited by Vanessa Kintu

11:00, 4 December 2022

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In this article:
TORN/USD
TORN/USD
6.0219 USD
0.1008 +1.740%
BNB/USD
Binance Coin / USD
322.69 USD
10.55 +3.460%
BTC/USD
Bitcoin / USD
23554.30 USD
497.2 +2.160%
COIN
Coinbase
61.10 USD
8.29 +15.790%
ETH/USD
Ethereum / USD
1615.67 USD
44.92 +2.860%

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Tornado Cash (TORN) Crypto metallic coin virtual currency token on futuristic technology vector background illustration
Tornado Cash was launched in 2019 as a decentralised, non-custodial smart contract platform built on the Ethereum blockchain. Photo: Satheesh Sankaran / Shutterstock

Over the past several months, global financial markets have been severely strained by waning investor confidence and mounting recession prospects. Meanwhile, the global cryptocurrency market capitalisation has declined to December 2020 levels.

Global cryptocurrency market capitalisation

Tornado Cash (TORN), a non-custodial privacy solution, achieved an all-time high of $437.41 on 13 February 2021, during the early 2021 crypto boom.

However, amid unusually bearish market sentiments due to the FTX crash, the TORN token price fell to an all-time low of $3.48 on 9 November. As of 2 December, the TORN coin was trading at $5.33, up x% from its all-time low price.

Tornado Cash (TORN) token price chart

How would the TORN token fare under these circumstances? Who owns the most Tornado Cash tokens, and how will they be impacted?

What is Tornado Cash and how does it work?

Tornado Cash was launched in August 2019 by Roman Storm and Roman Semenov as a decentralised, non-custodial smart contract platform built on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain. It is a cryptocurrency mixer that increases the anonymity of crypto transactions, making them harder to track.

A cryptocurrency mixer enables anonymous transactions, making it nearly impossible to track cryptocurrency wallets. The mixer gets hundreds and thousands of transactions that are mixed before delivering them to a particular wallet.

For example, suppose a user wants to move bitcoin (BTC) to a different wallet. By employing mixers, the funds will be distributed to hundreds and thousands of wallets in fractions before reaching the recipient’s wallet.

How does Tornado Cash work? When a user plans to deposit ERC-20 tokens or ETH into the Tornado Cash protocol’s liquidity pools, the protocol produces a secret hash before accepting the deposit and the hash.

Users wishing to withdraw their cryptocurrency enter the secret hash to establish ownership. Since the funds pass via the protocol’s liquidity pools first, connecting the deposit to the withdrawal is difficult. This ensures complete asset privacy.

The TORN token is a native ERC-20 governance token of the Tornado Cash platform, with a fixed supply that enables holders to propose and vote on protocol changes.

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Tornado Cash news and price drivers

The US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned Tornado Cash on 8 August, for its involvement in laundering more than $7bn of virtual currency since its inception in 2019. This includes about $455m stolen from Axie Infinity’s Ronin Bridge protocol by the Lazarus Group, a state-sponsored hacking group of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) that the US sanctioned in 2019.

Additionally, Tornado Cash was later used to launder more than $96m in cash stolen by hostile cyber actors during the Harmony Bridge heist on 24 June 2022, and at least $7.8m from the Nomad heist on 2 August 2022.

As a result of the OFAC sanctions, US users are no longer permitted to transfer assets via the mixer or reclaim cash locked on the platform without specific clearance from the US Treasury.

Circle, the issuers of USDC, a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar, froze over $75,000 in assets on the platform to comply with the government sanctions.

The makers of Tether (USDT), another US dollar-based stablecoin, said they would wait for a formal, direct request from OFAC before blocking any accounts related to Tornado Cash.

Meanwhile, exchange platform Coinbase (COIN) is sponsoring a lawsuit against the US Treasury over the sanctions, alleging that the Treasury exceeded its power by barring the platform rather than merely specific people.

BTC/USD

23,554.30 Price
+2.160% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0500%
Short position overnight fee 0.0140%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 66.00

ETH/USD

1,615.67 Price
+2.860% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0500%
Short position overnight fee 0.0140%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 5.50

LUNC/USD

0.00 Price
+0.950% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0500%
Short position overnight fee -0.0500%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.00000731

XRP/USD

0.41 Price
+1.100% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0500%
Short position overnight fee 0.0140%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.00383

Tornado Cash tokenomics

TORN historical performance

As of 2 December, the token was trading at $5.50. According to CoinMarketCap, it had a maximum supply of 10 million tokens, with 1.09 million TORN tokens in circulation, taking its market cap to $5.89m.

The maximum supply is the maximum amount of coins or tokens that will ever be generated. This implies that no further coins will be created or mined after reaching the limit.

Amid all the controversies surrounding the Tornado Cash platform, its token plunged many times and has lost approximately 99% of its value from its all-time high of $437.41 on 13 February 2021.

Who owns the most Tornado cash tokens? TORN whales analysis

According to CoinCarp, there were 8,635 Tornado Cash holders as of 2 December, up from 8,438 wallet holders on 3 November, a rise of 2.33%. 

The top 10 and top 100 holders dominated 90.58% and 97.98% of the TORN supply, respectively, making the coin highly susceptible to pump-and-dump operations.

Who has the most Tornado Cash tokens? Further analysis highlighted that Tornado Cash was the biggest Tornado Cash holder, with 4.12 million tokens or 41.25% of the current circulating supply.

Meanwhile, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance (BNB), was the second largest Tornado cash holder, with 3.3 million tokens or 33.04% of the supply.

Among other top holders of Tornado Cash, OKX, another cryptocurrency exchange, dominated 0.72% of the supply, whereas Gate.io and Bitget exchanges held 0.36% and 0.11% of the supply, respectively.

Apart from these exchanges, more wallets contained many TORN tokens. Since crypto wallets are anonymous, the identities of these TORN whales were hidden from the public.

The bottom line

Tornado Cash (TORN) has been a very volatile asset since its debut in 2019. Initially, the token had a meteoric rise until February 2021, after which it began to decline.

Additionally, persistent US Treasury Department penalties, recession concerns, and the recent collapse of the gigantic FTX exchange have caused the price of TORN to plummet below $5 for the first time since its inception.

US-based investors are now prohibited from accessing the Tornado Cash network, which is one of the factors contributing to the recent price decrease. The pending lawsuit against the US Treasury Department will heavily influence the Tornado Cash price.

While knowing who owns the most Tornado Cash tokens is important for accessing the project’s tokenonomics and ownership concentration, you should always conduct your own due diligence. Look at the latest news, technical analysis, and a wide range of analysts’ opinions before making any trading decision. 

Keep in mind that past performance is no guarantee of future returns. And never trade money that you cannot afford to lose.

FAQs

How many Tornado cash holders are there?

According to CoinCarp data, there were 8,635 Tornado Cash holders as of 2 December, up from 8,438 wallet holders on 3 November, a rise of 2.33%. Tornado Cash held 4.12 million TORN tokens (41.25% of the circulating supply). Binance (BNB), the world's biggest cryptocurrency exchange, held 3.3 million tokens (33.04%).

Who created Tornado cash?

Roman Storm and Roman Semenov founded Tornado Cash in 2019. Storm got interested in blockchain technology for the first time in 2011. He had also collaborated with Amazon and offered feedback on decentralised finance (DeFi) initiatives such as Compound and 0x. Semenov was a quantum statistics and field theory expert. Before Tornado Cash, he co-founded RedHelper and PepperSec and helped optimise eCommerce conversions and funnels.

What makes Tornado Cash unique?

Tornado Cash is distinctive in that it breaks the on-chain connection between a source address and a destination address, effectively enhancing the anonymity associated with financial transactions.

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The main difference between CFD trading and trading assets, such as commodities and stocks, is that you don’t own the underlying asset when you trade on a CFD.
You can still benefit if the market moves in your favour, or make a loss if it moves against you. However, with traditional trading you enter a contract to exchange the legal ownership of the individual shares or the commodities for money, and you own this until you sell it again.
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