Tether freezes OFAC-listed wallets under new policy

abdelaziz Fathi

Tether, the issuer of the world’s largest stablecoin, is freezing the wallets of individuals sanctioned by the U.S. Office of Foreign Asset Controls (OFAC). The company said the move marks a proactive approach in preventing potential misuse of its tokens and enhancing security measures.


Tether stated that it would not only freeze existing wallets on the OFAC list but also any new wallets added in the future. In the press release, Ardoino lauded this policy shift as an expansion of Tether’s collaboration with global law enforcement and regulatory bodies.

“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” stated Paolo Ardoino, CEO of Tether. “By executing voluntary wallet address freezing of new additions to the SDN List and freezing previously added addresses, we will be able to further strengthen the positive usage of stablecoin technology and promote a safer stablecoin ecosystem for all users.”

Tether’s history with freezing funds has been focused primarily on unlawful activities, but the company was reluctant to freeze wallets interacting with the sanctioned protocol Tornado Cash. They cited the lack of formal requests from U.S. law enforcement as a reason. However, following the latest announcement, blockchain records indicate that Tether has blacklisted Tornado Cash’s contract addresses.

The move could set a precedent for other stablecoin operators and crypto platforms regarding their response to international sanctions and regulatory compliance.

Earlier this month, Tether blacklisted over 30 cryptocurrency addresses that have received billions of USDT.

The blacklisted addresses had received a total of $161 million from Whitebit, a European cryptocurrency exchange with Ukrainian roots. Many of these addresses were involved in the movement of STUSDT, a token that users receive after staking USDT.

Chainargos had previously identified a large number of wallets engaged in “programmatic spamming” operations involving small transactions of STUSDT, which it observed in August.

On December 1, Tether froze 28 of these addresses, and on December 2, an additional six addresses were blacklisted after moving more than $10 million, with assets worth roughly $1 million. The frozen wallets were often linked to STUSDT movements.

Tether has not provided specific reasons for these actions, but the stablecoin company has been cooperating with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in freezing funds linked to illegal activities. In November, Tether voluntarily froze $225 million associated with human trafficking groups in Southeast Asia, calling it the “largest-ever freeze of USDT.”

  • Read this next

    Digital Assets

    Bitcoin breaks all records with a massive $1.347 billion transaction

    This transaction has surpassed previous records, setting a new benchmark for Bitcoin trades. Before this event, the largest Bitcoin transactions included a $1.1 billion trade in April 2020 involving 161,500 BTC, and other significant transactions ranging from $491 million to $1.033 billion throughout 2019 and 2020.

    Digital Assets

    Uniswap debuts Ethereum ‘uni.eth’ subdomains

    Decentralized exchange platform Uniswap has integrated Ethereum Name Service (ENS), allowing users to create human-readable domain names and cryptocurrency wallet addresses using .eth endings.


    Magic Square Expands with TruePNL Acquisition

    Binance’s web3 app store, Magic Square, acquired token platform TruePNL in a cash deal this week for an undisclosed sum. The deal brings TruePNL’s infrastructure (excluding branding & token) under Magic Square’s wing. Initially seeking a partnership, Magic Square opted for a full acquisition.

    Crypto Insider

    The Future of Prediction Markets? Zeitgeist Launches Decentralized Court System

    Polkadot-powered prediction market protocol Zeitgeist has announced the launch of its latest innovation: a decentralized court system.

    Digital Assets

    Crypto exchange Kraken fires back at SEC lawsuit, claiming overreach

    Crypto exchange Kraken is pushing back against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), seeking to toss out a lawsuit that accused the platform of operating without proper registration.

    Industry News

    Exness Named a Best Place to Work in 2024

     Global leader Exness, tops in retail trading volume, earns 2024 “Best Place to Work” award, cementing its employee-centric culture after three prior years of winning the Cyprus national title.

    Digital Assets

    Swan Bitcoin taps Bakkt for crypto offering in the US

    “We are thrilled to be taking this exciting step forward in our partnership with Swan. This is just the beginning of our collaboration, as we intend to explore further growth opportunities together in the future, including expansion into international markets.”

    Digital Assets

    Polkadot Awards Bifrost a 500,000 DOT Loan to Enhance Liquid Staking Adoption

    Bifrost, a leader in liquid staking solutions, has secured a 500,000 DOT loan from Polkadot’s treasury to expand the reach and utility of its vDOT product within the ecosystem.

    Digital Assets

    FTX cleared to sell $1 billion stake in AI outfit Anthropic

    A Delaware bankruptcy court just approved a plan allowing the now-defunct FTX and its creditors to offload the exchange’s $1 billion stake in AI outfit Anthropic.