14 May

On May 14, Tether, a leading stablecoin issuer, froze $5.2 million in USDT linked to phishing scams. These funds were held in 12 Ethereum wallets tagged as “USDT Banned Address.” 

SlowMist’s chief security officer indicated that these addresses were used to launder money from phishing scams, without providing further details.

Tether, the world’s largest stablecoin issuer, has previously frozen billions of dollars associated with hacks, exploits, and scams. According to an X post by Tether CEO Paolo Ardoino, the company has blocked over $1.3 billion since its inception, including around $1.6 million tied to terrorist financing.

In January 2022, Tether blacklisted three Ethereum addresses holding over $150 million in USDT. In October 2022, it froze $8.2 million in USDT on Ethereum and blacklisted 215 USDT addresses. By the end of 2022, Tether had frozen assets exceeding $360 million. In October 2023, the issuer froze $817,000 in USDT linked to terrorist activity in Ukraine and Israel, followed by a $225 million freeze related to romance scammers in the subsequent month.

Tether has collaborated with 24 law enforcement agencies in over 40 countries, responding to 198 requests to block wallets in the past year and 339 requests in the last three years. The company also provides secondary market controls to freeze activities connected to individuals and entities on the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control Specially Designated Nationals list.

The decentralized ledger technology enables crypto firms to monitor on-chain funds, while the centralized nature of stablecoins allows issuers like Tether to freeze assets involved in illicit activities upon law enforcement request.

May 2024, Cryptoniteuae

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