Tether Freezes $5.2M USDt Associated with Banned Addresses

May 15, 2024

Tether, the issuer behind the world’s largest stablecoin, USDt, has frozen approximately $5.2 million in USDt linked to 12 banned addresses. This action, reported by a crypto tracking and compliance account on X (formerly Twitter), highlights Tether’s ongoing efforts to maintain regulatory compliance and enhance security within the cryptocurrency space.

On Tuesday, on-chain analytics firm MistTrack reported that Tether had just frozen the USDt across 12 addresses. These addresses are associated with “USDT Banned Address” tags identified by MistTrack.

Law Enforcement Collaboration

Tether CEO Paolo Ardoino, in a detailed post on X on Monday, explained how the stablecoin issuer blocked several addresses in collaboration with law enforcement agencies. He highlighted Tether’s efforts since inception, noting, “Tether blocked more than $1.3 billion, mostly related to scams, hacks, ML. Approximately $1.6 million is related to terrorist finance.” 

Ardoino further added, “Tether collaborated, on a voluntary basis, in 198 requests from law enforcement to block wallets in the last 12 months (90 with U.S. law enforcement),” and “blocked more than $639 million working with U.S. law enforcement.” The Tether CEO also mentioned collaborations with Israel’s NBCTF and Ukrainian law enforcement.

History of Proactive Actions

Tether has a history of taking proactive measures against suspicious addresses. In January 2022, it blacklisted three Ethereum addresses holding over $150 million in USDt. By October 2022, Tether had frozen $8.2 million in USDt and added 215 Ethereum-based addresses to its blacklist. 

In late 2022, Tether had frozen over $360 million in assets. In October 2023, the stablecoin issuer froze $817,000 in USDt linked to terrorist activity in Ukraine and Israel. A month later, it froze $225 million in USDt linked to romance scammers.

Tether also offers secondary market controls to freeze activity connected with sanctioned persons on the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control Specially Designated Nationals list. This includes any companies or individuals controlled or owned by sanctioned countries.

The company has implemented controls to prevent sanctioned individuals and entities from using USDt, reinforcing its commitment to global compliance and security measures. Tether’s latest move to freeze $5.2 million worth of USDt demonstrates its ongoing commitment to regulatory compliance and security. As the cryptocurrency market evolves, such measures are crucial to fostering a safe and transparent environment for all users.

Tether has not yet issued any statement related to the recent freezing of $5.2 million in USDt. The lack of an official comment has left the crypto community speculating about the specific reasons behind this action and its potential implications.

The Shib Daily reached out to Tether to obtain a statement regarding the freezing of $5.2 million in USDt associated with banned addresses. We will update the story as soon as we hear from them.

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