Tether, a prominent stablecoin firm, has responded to claims made by the United Nations regarding the use of its USDT stablecoin in illegal operations.
On Jan. 15, the Southeast Asia and Pacific division of the UN Office for Drugs and Crime published a report focusing on the involvement of cryptocurrencies in illicit activities and underground banking.
The report, named “Casinos, Money Laundering, Underground Banking, and Transnational Organized Crime in East and Southeast Asia: A Hidden, Accelerating Threat,” identified the USDT stablecoin, particularly on the Tron blockchain, as a key tool for money laundering in the region, citing its stability, transaction anonymity, and low fees.
In response, Tether, on the same day, refuted the UN’s findings, arguing that the report overlooked the traceability of USDT and its history of cooperation with global law enforcement agencies.
The USDT issuer also stressed the need for discussions on how centralized stablecoins could enhance anti-financial crime measures.
Asserting its commitment to fighting illicit activities, Tether revealed that it had frozen over $300 million in USDT linked to illegal operations in recent months. This includes $225 million frozen in November 2023 during a U.S. investigation into a Southeast Asian human trafficking ring.
You might also like: Tether blocks 6 wallets potentially linked to Finiko ponzi scheme Tether criticized the UN’s report for focusing solely on the negative aspects of USDT, disregarding its positive impact on developing economies in emerging markets, which are often overlooked by the global financial system.
The firm also highlighted its role in offering superior monitoring capabilities compared to traditional banking systems, which have historically been used for large-scale money laundering.
Tether urged the global community and the UN to collaborate and enhance their understanding of blockchain technology to tackle financial crimes effectively.
Despite the noted increase in USDT’s use by criminal groups in Asia, Tether has shown a willingness to work with U.S. law enforcement and regulatory bodies. In December 2023, the firm expressed its commitment to intensifying efforts against illicit crypto transactions, sharing information with the U.S. House Financial Services Committee and the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.
Recent data from Dune Analytics indicates that Tether has blocked over 1,250 addresses linked to illicit activities, with the total value of USDT in these banned wallets exceeding $877 million.
Source : crypto.news by Rony Roy / Jan 16, 2024