- The largest stablecoin, Tether, is stepping up its efforts to fight against crime in the crypto industry by pledging total cooperation with the FBI and Secret Service.
Tether’s newly appointed CEO, Paolo Ardoino, has continued to combat the misuse of its stablecoins for illicit activities and enhancing the integrity of the crypto space.
After implementing a new wallet-freezing policy that targeted individuals on the SDN list, which resulted in the freezing of over 200 wallets, the stablecoin issuer is looking to take things up a notch.
In a recent letter shared with US legislators, Tether CEO expanded on his vision to prevent malicious actors from exploiting the company’s stablecoins, which includes onboarding law enforcement heavyweights the Secret Service and the FBI.
Tether Reiterates Commitment to Fighting Crime
On December 15, Tether, the company behind USDT, detailed its unwavering commitment to curbing the illicit use of its stablecoins in letters addressed to members of the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and the US House Financial Services Committee.
Emphasizing its dedication to building a sustainable and resilient infrastructure, Tether pledged full cooperation with law enforcement in the fight against terrorist financing and other illicit activities.
In the letter, Tether CEO Paolo Ardoino expanded on the firm’s recent efforts in fighting crime, highlighting its new wallet-freezing policy, which helped law enforcement restrict access to over 200 wallets, freezing over 3.5 million USDT in the process.
The stablecoin company noted its assistance to the US Department of Justice, the US Secret Service, and the FBI as a ‘tangible example’ of its relationship with law enforcement agencies, sharing that it helped freeze 326 wallets, totaling over $435 million to date.
To further prove its commitment to assisting law enforcement, Tether’s CEO announced in the letter that it had onboarded the US Secret Service and is doing the same with the FBI.
Tether’s letter comes on the heels of US Senators urging the DOJ to put the stablecoin under its magnifying glass.
US Senators Urge DOJ to Take Action Against Tether
Prior to this move by Tether, Senator Cynthia Lummis and Representative French Hill had asked the DOJ to arrive at a “charging decision on Binance” and “expeditiously conclude” investigations into Tether’s alleged involvement in illicit activities in a letter addressed to US Attorney General Merrick Garland on October 26,
The lawmakers alleged that Binance and Tether actively provided material support and resources to enable crypto-funded terrorism through circumvention of applicable sanctions laws and violations of the Bank Secrecy Act.
The lawmakers also claimed that the stablecoin issuers had failed to conduct adequate screenings despite being aware that extremist groups leveraged its stablecoins to facilitate terrorism and other illicit activities.
This action taken by Tether’s new CEO is possibly as a result of a challenging period as the stablecoin issuer grapples with increased scrutiny from lawmakers over allegations of terror financing.
As a result of its new wallet-freezing policy, Tether was able to successfully freeze the USDT held by the Ledger hacker, recovering over $600,000 in losses.
Tether’s cooperation with law enforcement in fighting against the misuse of its stablecoins is much-needed in times like this when terror financing, money laundering, and other illicit activities cast a shadow on the crypto industry, setting it back by a couple of years.
However, it may not remain positive in the long term as it could open doors to unwarranted centralization.