Tether, the world’s largest stablecoin issuer, has seized $225 million worth of its dollar-pegged USDT tokens linked to the global “pig slaughter” romance scam, the company announced on Monday.
The freeze is the largest in the company’s history, and applies to otherwise “external self-protected wallets.”
- The action follows a joint investigation conducted with crypto exchange OKEx in collaboration with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and leveraged tools provided by blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis.
- Following the investigation, the DOJ received alerts about illicit funds movement on the chain, prompting the US Secret Service to request a freeze. Tether “voluntarily” and “actively” complied with the request.
“We believe in leveraging technology and relationships, such as our collaboration with OKEx, to proactively address illicit activities and maintain the highest standards of integrity in the industry,” Tether CEO Paolo Ardoino wrote in a statement. “
- Tether did not provide any details about the scam or the frozen wallets, but said such wallets are in the secondary market and are not direct customers of the issuer.
- Tether said that any legitimate wallets frozen by mistake will be frozen in cooperation with law enforcement and affected individuals.
- Tether announced last month that it had frozen $873,000 worth of tokens linked to terrorism in Ukraine and Israel. It also seized $20 million linked to a phishing scam in August, and another $1.7 million stolen during the Yarn Finance exploit in February 2021.
- Still, political pressure has begun to mount on the company to close loopholes in its anti-money laundering measures that could encourage financial crime — even from pro-crypto congressmen. .
- Tether’s market cap has reached a new all-time high this month, now exceeding $87 billion.
Special Offer (Sponsored)
Binance Free $100 (Exclusive): Use this link to register and get $100 free and 10% off fees on Binance Futures your first month. (terms).