According to a corporate spokeswoman, the corporation did so in order to comply with law enforcement directives. Tether has locked three addresses on the Ethereum blockchain totaling $160 million USDT in response to a request from law enforcement, according to the statement. The company is currently unable to provide any additional information on the matter.
Tether can blacklist addresses it believes are involved in crime, money laundering, or any other reason it chooses because it is a centralized organization.
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, but according to the Bloxy block explorer, it added 312 addresses to the blacklist last year and has added 563 total since November 2017.
Tether has not explained why the three new addresses were blacklisted, although it has previously used its power to blacklist addresses implicated in cyber-attacks and law enforcement investigations. The Kucoin attack in September 2020, for example, resulted in Tether freezing roughly $35 million USDT to prevent hackers from profiting from their heist.
Concerns about a lack of decentralization may be a factor in TerraUSD (UST) stablecoin acceptance from algo stablecoin blockchain Terra. With a market cap of $10.62 billion, it is now the fourth largest stablecoin. The decentralized challenger’s market cap, however, pales in contrast to USDT, the third-largest crypto overall with a market cap of $78.5 billion.