Stablecoin issuer startup Tether froze 41 wallets earlier today, with on-chain data showing several of the crypto wallets used the services of Tornado Cash.
Tornado Cash is on Office of Foreign Assets Control’s (OFAC) Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list.
Tether made the move to halt the operations of the wallets with the help of data collected from blockchain intelligence company Chainargos.
Ether crypto transactions data tracker Etherscan flagged one of the addresses, stating it was reportedly involved in the infamous Ronin Bridge hack. Collectively, the frozen virtual wallets moved most funds in Staked USDT (STUSDT).
Nonetheless, it is not the first time Tether froze wallets linked to warfare, as it ceased the operations of 32 crypto money holders related to the wars in Ukraine and Israel. As reported by CNBC, the wallets held a collective sum of $873,118.
In October, Tether stated it had collaborated with 31 agencies in 19 different global jurisdictions, facilitating the freezing of approximately $835 million in assets related to illicit activities. Additionally, Tether complied with a lawful request by law enforcement to freeze USDT worth $46 million, reportedly belonging to the beleaguered crypto exchange FTX, back in November 2022.
The stablecoin issuer came to a consensus on Dec. 1, 2023, to launch a wallet-freezing policy in addition to their existing security measures.
Tether stated the new policy will prevent sanctioned individuals and organizations present in OFAC’s SDN list.
The startup said the policy showcases its drive to collaborate with global financial regulators and law enforcement. Furthermore, Tether seeks to offer customers using its secondary market sanction controls it uses to oversee the activities of wallets present on its platform.
“This strategic decision aligns with our unwavering commitment to maintaining the highest standards of safety for our global ecosystem and expanding our close working relationship with global law enforcement and regulators”
Paolo Ardoino, CEO of Tether
Using the policy, Tether has reportedly frozen wallets that have been added to the SDN list. The U.S. Treasury has been using the list to crack down on crypto wallets making transactions related to illegal activities.