Tether is working closer with U.S. law enforcement, revealing it has already frozen 326 wallets linked to
criminals, while VanEck CEO has pled a bullish case for the future of Bitcoin.
Tether confirms $435M in criminal-linked USDT has been frozen
Stablecoin issuer Tether (USDT) has revealed it has frozen 326 wallets linked to criminals,
totaling $435 million as of Dec. 15, and is working closer with U.S. law enforcement agencies than ever before.
“We have assisted in freezing, as of the date of this letter, approximately 326 wallets totaling
approximately USDT 435 Million,” the firm’s CEO Paolo Ardoino explained to Senator Cynthia
Lummis and U.S. Representative French Hill on Dec. 15.
Tether said it also onboarded the United States Secret Service into its platform to strengthen its
compliance measures with U.S. law enforcement and is in the same process with the FBI.
“These strategic relationships reinforce our commitment to supporting law enforcement in combating
nefarious activities and contributing to the recovery of victims’ funds.”
The letter addressed requests for intervention by the Department of Justice about the illicit use of Tether’s stablecoin.
It followed Lummis and Hill’s remarks that Hamas used cryptocurrency to facilitate its attack on Israel in early October.
Tether stressed it has a Know Your Customer (KYC) program, a transaction monitoring system and a
“proactive approach” to identifying suspicious accounts and activities.
“We have always assisted law enforcement when called upon to act, and we remain fully committed to
continuing to work proactively with agencies globally. Tether has and will assist in identifying and
freezing addresses subject to sanctions, engaged in illicit activity, or engaged in any form of terrorist financing.”
Tether initiated a voluntary wallet-freezing policy on Dec.
9 efforts to mitigate criminal and terrorism-linked transactions with USDT as much as possible.
The stablecoin issuer was initially reluctant to proactively freeze sanctioned wallets in 2022 but the
intense crackdown on cryptocurrency firms in the U.S. prompted the firm to rethink its strategy.