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$873K in USDT connected to terrorist activities in Israel and the Ukraine is frozen by Tether.

The stablecoin issuer, Tether, has taken a decisive step by freezing 32 addresses associated with terrorist activities in Israel and Ukraine, a move undertaken in collaboration with local law enforcement agencies. A sum totaling $873,000 USDT, linked to illicit endeavors in the aforementioned countries, has been effectively frozen, as revealed in the company’s official announcement. The cooperative effort extended to Israel’s National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing, emphasizing a joint commitment to combatting unlawful financial activities.

Paolo Ardoino, appointed as Tether’s CEO in October, underscores the misconception surrounding cryptocurrency transactions. Contrary to popular belief, these transactions lack anonymity; they stand out as the most traceable and trackable assets. Ardoino asserts that this traceability empowers Tether to obstruct the usage of USDT associated with terrorist funding. This proactive stance involves close collaboration with global law enforcement, aiming not only to track and trace but also to freeze assets linked to criminal and terrorist enterprises.

In the closing months of 2022, Tether made headlines by freezing assets exceeding $360 million, subsequently reissuing over $100 million of intercepted USDT. The cumulative freeze count now stands at an estimated $835 million in USDT, primarily tied to cyber incidents within blockchain and cryptocurrency exchanges. Tether’s global reach is underscored by its collaboration with 32 countries, jointly addressing cyber malfeasance involving its stablecoin.

Fast-forward to June 2023, Israel’s defense minister, Yoav Gallant, declares the seizure of cryptocurrency wallets containing millions of dollars, transferred to the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. The utilization of Chainalysis’ blockchain analysis tools facilitated the seizure of over $1.7 million in cryptocurrency during this operation. Meanwhile, blockchain data signals a shift among cybercriminals, who now favor stablecoins and altcoins over Bitcoin for transferring value online, citing accessibility and the ability to launder funds through decentralized exchanges.

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