Tether freezes $435 million from hundreds of wallets at the request of the US

Tether, the world’s largest stablecoin issuer, has frozen 326 wallets containing a total of $435 million in USDT. The measure was taken at the request of US authorities, including the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Secret Service.

The asset freeze, according to the company’s statement, is part of an effort to combat the illegal use of stablecoins, especially in activities such as money laundering and terrorist financing.

The action follows the company’s response to an earlier letter from US politicians expressing concerns about the risks associated with stablecoins.

Paolo Ardoino, CEO of Tether, spoke on this topic and emphasized the company’s commitment to becoming a “world-class partner” of the US, with the aim of expanding the influence of the US dollar on the global stage.

Tether Wallet Freeze Policy

Tether implemented a wallet freeze policy on December 1 as part of its strategy to support authorities around the world. The new policy includes blocking all wallets listed by Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

And the company also stated that the measure is a “historic milestone” for the industry, marking significant progress in sanctions control and monitoring.

In its letter describing the case, Tether outlined its efforts to prevent the illegal use of USDT. This includes implementing a robust know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) program, aligned with the standards of global financial institutions.

The program was evaluated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on behalf of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Additionally, Tether is registered with FinCEN as a money services company.

The company partners with third-party services such as Chainalysis and WorldCheck to conduct background checks and continuously monitor its customers’ information so that the data is current and accurate.

Transaction monitoring

Tether has worked with 19 jurisdictions worldwide, assisting with investigations and, in some cases, proactively providing information to authorities. The company assisted the DOJ with 68 requests and froze 188 wallets containing 70 million USDT.

Notably, Tether also worked with Israel’s terrorist financing agency, the NBCTF, to identify and freeze portfolios linked to Hamas and other terrorist organizations.

In addition, Tether uses Chainalysis’ Reactor tool to monitor transactions and identify suspicious or risky activities.

Source: Live Coins