Tether freezes wallets involved in suspicious USDT transfers

abdelaziz Fathi

Tether, the issuer of the world’s largest stablecoin, has blacklisted over 30 cryptocurrency addresses that have received billions of USDT.

Tether

This action, which is one of the largest operations of its kind for Tether, was carried out in collaboration with blockchain intelligence firm Chainargos.

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.”

Tether’s USDT is the third-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization and is widely used for trading and transferring value in the crypto market.

Earlier in November, Tether and its sister crypto exchange Bitfinex decided to withdraw their opposition to a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request initiated by journalists, including Bloomberg Businessweek’s Zeke Faux.

In a corporate statement, the stablecoin issuer indicated that this decision aligns with its commitment to transparency, yet this will not result in the release of all their documents, citing standard business practices.

Tether accused Zeke Faux’s prior work related as occasionally ventured beyond the confines of traditional professional journalism. Furthermore, the statement cited instances of “biased and factually inaccurate reporting” from several media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg, whose journalists are involved in this FOIL request.

This isn’t Tether’s first encounter with a FOIL request; they previously attempted to block a request by CoinDesk that sought documents about Tether’s reserves during an inquiry by the New York Attorney General (NYAG) into whether USDT was fully backed by reserves. After losing in court, Tether is not appealing the decision and, instead, accepted to engage with journalists and regulators “who meet ethical reporting standards and respect privacy.”

  • Read this next

    Retail FX

    Weekly Roundup: FX prop firms switch to cTrader, who moved $1.35B BTC?

    The foreign exchange and cryptocurrency markets are always active, and this past week was no exception. Stay ahead with a selection of essential stories and updates that matter most to market participants.

    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.

    Web3

    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.

    <