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Tether freezes 40 addresses containing millions in USDT

Tether has blacklisted 24 Ethereum addresses in 2020.

Mon, 13 Jul 2020, 05:08 am UTC

Stablecoin issuer Tether Limited has blacklisted 40 Ethereum addresses that contain millions of dollars worth of the cryptocurrency tether (USDT). Just like USDC issuer Centre’s move to blacklist an address last week, Tether’s decision to freeze the funds from the affected crypto wallets is the result of requests from law enforcement.

An analysis by Ethereum researcher Philippe Castonguay revealed that Tether banned 40 Ethereum addresses effectively freezing the crypto funds they contain, according to Bitcoin.com. Banning or blacklisting an address means that it can no longer send nor receive cryptocurrency.

Castonguay, who shared his findings on Dune Analytics, revealed that “have been banned from using USDT on Ethereum as of now.” However, the researcher revealed that the 40 addresses were not blacklisted at simultaneously. One address was blacklisted in 2017, eight addresses were banned in 2018, seven in 2019, and the remaining 24 addresses were just blacklisted in 2020.

It appears that one of the 40 addresses was just blacklisted very recently. An earlier article by Cointelegraph, which was only published on July 10, reported that only 39 addresses were blacklisted by Ether. The report added that the total value of cryptocurrency inside the 39 addresses is more than $46 million.

Stuart Hoegner, general counsel at Tether’s sister company Bitfinex, explained that the stablecoin issuer cooperates with international law enforcement agencies in these matters. “Tether routinely assists law enforcement in their investigations,” Hoegner said. “Through the freeze address feature, Tether has been able to help users and exchanges to save and recover tens of millions of dollars stolen from them by hackers.”

Eric Wall, CIO of Arcane Assets, explained that most freezes are just precautionary actions. This means that most will be unfrozen after investigation.

“Most other freezes seem to have been made on Ethereum accounts either for precautionary reasons (possibly identified as scams/Ponzis) or in error/to protect others from making errors (like freezing 0x000...0001). 3 addresses were unfrozen after the freeze,” Wall said.

Centre Consortium, the issuer of the stablecoin USDC, also blacklisted an Etheruem address last week in response to a request from law enforcement. The affected address contained $100,000 in USDC.

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