Tether Freezes 41 Crypto Wallets Tied to Sanctions

Several of the frozen wallets had been using Tornado Cash over the past six months.

AccessTimeIconDec 9, 2023 at 8:50 p.m. UTC
Updated Jan 24, 2024 at 1:41 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Stabelcoin issuer Tether froze 41 wallets controlled by people on the Office of Foreign Assets Control's (OFAC) Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List on Saturday.

Tether described the actions as "precautionary measures" in a blog post.

On-chain data shows that several wallets had been using coin-mixing service Tornado Cash in the past six months. One of the frozen wallets is also associated with the $625 million Ronin Bridge attack, which, according to the U.S. Treasury Department, was executed by North Korean hacking group Lazarus Group.

"By executing voluntary wallet address freezing of new additions to the SDN List and freezing previously added addresses, we will be able to further strengthen the positive usage of stablecoin technology and promote a safer stablecoin ecosystem for all users," said Tether CEO Paolo Ardoino.

In October, Tether froze 32 wallets that were linked to terrorism and warfare in Ukraine and Israel. It also froze $225 million last month in relation to a human trafficking syndicate following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Edited by Stephen Alpher.

Disclosure

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Oliver Knight

Oliver Knight is a CoinDesk reporter based between London and Lisbon. He does not own any crypto.


Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.


Read more about