Tether Outlines A Policy Of Freezing Wallets For Those Sanctioned By OFAC


With the announcement of a voluntary wallet-freezing policy, stablecoin issuer Tether has taken a further step toward collaboration with law enforcement and regulatory bodies. A Dec. 9 blog post from Tether states that the policy is an “aggressive attempt to collaborate even more effectively with international law enforcement and regulatory organizations” and will complement current security procedures.

They have provided secondary market restrictions to halt transactions related to sanctioned individuals on the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List maintained by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) as of December 1. The list includes organizations and people that are under the ownership or control of sanctioned nations. The list has been used by the US Department of Treasury to stop cryptocurrency transactions that could be linked to criminal activity, such as financing terrorism and the unapproved sale of fentanyl.

Tether Claims To Have To Have Frozen Wallets Previously Included In The SDN List

In a move that goes against the company’s prior stances on the subject, Tether already has frozen wallets that were previously included in the SDN List. For instance, Tether said in August 2022 that it would not proactively freeze authorized Tornado Cash accounts unless directed to do so by law authorities. Since 2019, the OFAC claims that people and criminal groups have laundered over $7 billion in Bitcoin using Tornado Cash.

Paolo Ardoino, CEO of the company, stated, “By freezing wallet addresses of newly added SDN List addresses voluntarily, we will be able to further reinforce the beneficial applications of stablecoin innovation and advance a safer stablecoin environment for all users.” The Hong Kong-based corporation is responsible for the stablecoin Tether USDT tickers down $1.00, whose market value peaked during the recent U.S. crackdown on cryptocurrency companies. With a market valuation of $90 billion as of right now, it is clear that there is a significant market for the stablecoin, which accounts for around 70% of the total.