Tether announced a total of $835 million in assets primarily linked to various criminal activities, such as theft (resulting from blockchain and exchange hacks), along with smaller portions associated with other illicit activities. The stablecoin issuer has actively cooperated with 31 law enforcement agencies worldwide, assisting in investigations spanning 19 different jurisdictions.
Among the countries with which Tether has collaborated are Brazil, Singapore, the Philippines, Germany, South Korea, Norway, Poland, Switzerland, Greece, Canada, the United States, etc.
Tether Freezes Terrorism-Linked Addresses
In the press release, Tether revealed freezing 32 addresses containing $873,118.34 that were discovered to have connections to illicit activities in Israel and Ukraine. In particular, the company has worked alongside the National Bureau for Counter-Terror Financing of Israel (NBCTF) to combat cryptocurrency-funded terrorism and warfare.
Although the amount frozen by Tether represents only a small fraction of the $445 billion cost imposed on the global economy by cybercrime, the issuer of the USDT stablecoin said its ability to freeze and return stolen funds to their rightful owners “demonstrates the innovative new capabilities and level of security that blockchain technologies can bring to the global financial system.”
In a statement, Tether also said it aims to thwart the criminal use of crypto while working with law enforcement agencies globally. While highlighting that crypto is a powerful tool but not for crime, Tether’s newly appointed CEO, Paolo Ardoino, said,
“Contrary to popular belief, cryptocurrency transactions are not anonymous; they are the most traceable and trackable assets. Every transaction is recorded on the blockchain, making it feasible for anyone to trace fund movements. Consequently, criminals foolish enough to employ cryptocurrencies for illegal activities will inevitably be identified.”
Tether has previously frozen millions of USDT linked to malicious entities. In August, the company announced freezing $20 million tied to a phishing scammer. Back in 2021, Tether also froze $1.7 million stolen in the exploit of Yearn Finance’s protocol.
Paolo Ardoino Takes Over as Tether’s CEO
The stablecoin giant made a strategic investment in German-listed Bitcoin miner Northern Data Group in September as part of its expansion effort beyond fintech. Simultaneously, USDT has also witnessed significant growth on exchanges despite a wider market drawdown.
Amidst the changing dynamics, Tether announced a surprising management shuffle after appointing Ardoino as the CEO of the company.