Tether has decided to voluntarily freeze 225 million USDT linked to a criminal association. This decision comes after assisting the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), along with crypto-exchange OKX.
Tether: 225 million USDT frozen linked to international criminal activity
Tether announced that it has voluntarily decided to freeze 225 million USDT linked to international criminal activity.
The crypto company behind the largest stablecoin in terms of market cap, partnered with crypto-exchange OKX, to assist the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
The investigation revealed that the 225 million USDT tokens in self-custodied external wallets are linked to an international criminal syndicate of human traffickers in Southeast Asia, responsible for a fictional global “pig butchering” scam.
Tools from blockchain analytics company Chainalysis were used to uncover such wallets. Not only that, this sum of frozen USDT, represents the largest ever in Tether’s history.
Tether stops crime and freezes the largest amount of USDT in history
In this investigation, both Tether and OKX, have been proactive about the location of illicit funds by analyzing the flow of these funds through the blockchain.
According to the press release, the wallets with frozen USDT are on the secondary market and are not associated with Tether’s clients.
Therefore, to the extent that legal wallets were captured by this operation, Tether lets it know that it will work quickly with law enforcement and the owners of such wallets to unlock them, as appropriate.
In this regard, Paolo Ardoino, CEO of Tether, commented as follows:
“Through proactive engagement with global law enforcement agencies and our commitment to transparency, Tether aims to set a new standard for safety within the crypto space. Our recent assistance to the Department of Justice underscores our dedication to fostering a secure environment. We believe in leveraging technology and relationships, such as our collaboration with OKX, to proactively address illicit activities and uphold the highest standards of integrity in the industry.”
USDT’s market cap records its ATH and exceeds $88 billion
In the past 24 hours, USDT’s total market cap rose from $87.75 billion to $88.09 billion.
This means that the stablecoin is recording its all-time high or ATH – All Time High in terms of market capitalization, surpassing $88 billion. A figure, which has never been touched before.
And in fact, Ardoino also highlighted the milestone on X:
Stablecoin as a hedge against inflation
Recently, Ardoino spoke of USDT’s remarkable growth and its role as a hedge against inflation.
Specifically, over the past year, it seems that the growth of USDT’s circulation has been so resilient to the great volatility in the crypto market.
In practice, the crypto company has created a meticulously managed capital base through holdings in U.S. government bonds and short-term investments. And in fact, Tether holds $72.6 billion in U.S. Treasury bonds as a testament to its commitment to stability.
Not only that, in the last quarter 2022, Tether generated a substantial profit of $700 million.
Previously, Ardoino had stated that Tether was cooperating with law enforcement and the DOJ so that it was not only regulatory compliant, but proactive in prosecuting crime.