Tether Holdings Ltd.,the issuer of USDT, the world’s largest stablecoin by market capitalisation, Wednesday said freezing the sanctioned addresses might interfere with ongoing investigations despite no clear instruction to do so by law enforcement.

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Fast facts

  • The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned the mixer in early August, claiming it had laundered US$7 billion worth of cryptocurrency since its creation in 2019.
  • Tether says that it works closely with global law enforcement agencies to ensure it is compliant, but at this stage has not received any indication from the OFAC or any other relevant agency that it should freeze any secondary market addresses.
  • “Unilaterally freezing secondary market addresses could be a highly disruptive and reckless move by Tether,” the firm said in a statement, adding “completing a freeze without the verified instruction of law enforcement and other government agencies might interfere with ongoing and sophisticated law enforcement investigations.”
  • Circle Internet Financial Ltd., the issuer of the USDC, froze over 75,000 USDC in funds linked to 81 Tornado Cash addresses within days of the OFAC’s decision to sanction the platform.
  • Tether has been under scrutiny following a report from the Washington Post that alleged the firm may be violating sanctions by not freezing the sanctioned Tornado Cash addresses.
  • A Tether spokesperson directed Forkast to reference its blog post on Wednesday when asked for a comment.