Tether (USDT), the most valuable stablecoin with a market valuation of $78.4 billion, has included three Ethereum addresses to its blacklist, each holding more than $160 million in the USDT stablecoin.
According to a statement by a corporate representative, the corporation did so in order to adhere with law enforcement directives. It states, “Today, Tether has frozen three addresses on the Ethereum blockchain containing $160m USDT upon a request from law enforcement. At the moment we are unable to disclose any further details.”
Tether can blacklist addresses it suspects are involved in criminal activity, financial fraud, or any other cause it chooses because it is a centralised organisation.
Following a November 2017 breach in which $30 million in USDT was stolen, Tether, which issues tokens on many blockchains, began blacklisting addresses.
Tether blacklisted an address for the first time in 2022. However, according to the Bloxy block explorer, it placed 312 addresses to the blacklist in 2021, and now has added 563 in total since November 2017.
Tether hasn’t said why the three new domains were blocked, but it has previously used its power to block addresses linked to cyber-attacks and law enforcement probes. In September 2020, Tether locked roughly $35 million USDT in response to the Kucoin hack, preventing criminals from profiting from their heist.
Despite the government’s rigorous control on cryptocurrency, Eric Plante, Senior director of investigations at Chainalysis, warned that global hacking events by North Korean cyber criminals were on the rise.
According to the Department of Justice, the hackers used malicious crypto-based apps on multiple platforms to execute their goals. Furthermore, officials revealed that the hackers regularly attacked Ethereum and ERC-20 tokens, which are valued at approximately $40 million.
Since the Ethereum blockchain has been steadily growing in popularity despite the crypto market’s collapse, it has become a target for fraudsters looking to plunder digital assets.