Popular Uniswap Frontend Blocks Over 250 Crypto Addresses Related to DeFi Crimes

The move comes shortly after the U.S. government placed sanctions on privacy mixer Tornado Cash, prompting other DeFi developers to take protective measures.

AccessTimeIconAug 22, 2022 at 12:24 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 5:25 p.m. UTC

Decentralized exchange (DEX) Uniswap has blocked 253 crypto addresses that were apparently linked to sanctioned privacy tool Tornado Cash or to stolen funds, according to GitHub data cited by Yearn Finance developer “Banteg."

These addresses were either sanctioned by the U.S. government or had directly received hacked or stolen funds from numerous crypto platforms in the past few years.

The 253 blocked crypto addresses can continue to use Uniswap’s smart contracts – a decentralized service that exists on the Ethereum blockchain. However, they cannot use the popular Uniswap website, which is a frontend managed and maintained by Uniswap Labs, a New York-based company.

"[It] surely it makes no sense to block it," said Banteg, pointing out that a burn wallet was among the 253 blocked addresses. Other wallets, noted Banteg, were only connected to a bad wallet and may not have directly engaged in nefarious activities.

Thirty addresses blocked by Uniswap were associated with Ethereum Name Service (ENS) domain names, a service that ties crypto wallets to human-readable names, added Banteg: "Most are likely legitimate users that have fallen to trm collateral damage."

Uniswap is currently working with blockchain analytics firm TRM Labs to trace a user’s wallet activity as part of a broader risk management drive, as per an April post.

The DEX previously blocked addresses on the U.S. Treasury Depart's sanctions list but has since extended the purview to include wallet addresses associated with illicit activity, such as stolen funds or ransomware, from interacting with the Uniswap frontend developed and maintained by Uniswap Labs.

TRM Labs flags addresses to Uniswap based on seven categories, including stolen funds, privacy mixers, known terrorist wallets and wallets connected to child abuse. These are sent to Uniswap Labs, which may take further action.


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Shaurya Malwa

Shaurya is the Deputy Managing Editor for the Data & Tokens team, focusing on decentralized finance, markets, on-chain data, and governance across all major and minor blockchains.

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