In a significant move to combat illicit financial activities, Tether, the stablecoin issuer, has frozen $873,000 worth of USDT linked to suspected terrorist operations in Israel and Ukraine. This action was undertaken in partnership with local law enforcement agencies and marks a crucial step in the fight against cryptocurrency-enabled terrorism financing.
The Traceability of Cryptocurrency Transactions
Paolo Ardoino, who assumed the role of Tether CEO in October 2023, emphasized the traceability and transparency of cryptocurrency transactions on blockchain platforms. He highlighted that these transactions are far from being anonymous, making them highly traceable and trackable.
Tether’s efforts to combat illicit activities in the crypto sphere are not new. In late 2022, they froze over $360 million in assets, subsequently reissuing over $100 million of USDT that had been intercepted. Their commitment to tackling such issues has led to the freezing of a total of approximately $835 million in USDT, primarily connected to blockchain and cryptocurrency exchange hacks.
Tether’s engagement extends to 32 countries globally, where they actively support investigations into illicit cyber activities related to their dollar-backed stablecoin.
Recent developments have indicated a shift in the modus operandi of cybercriminals. They are increasingly moving away from using Bitcoin for transferring value over the internet. Instead, they are turning to stablecoins and altcoins due to their accessibility and their potential to be laundered through decentralized exchanges (DEXs).
This strategic shift underscores the importance of continued vigilance and regulation within the cryptocurrency ecosystem to curb unlawful activities effectively.