Tether (USDT) has blacklisted 39 Ethereum addresses worth $46 million in USDT, with 24 of them holding a total of more than $5.5 million in USDT having been blacklisted this year. This revelation follows the Centre’s first blacklisting of an Ethereum address holding USDT 100,000.
Philippe Castonguay, Ethereum researcher at Horizon Games, used Dune Analytics to create a dashboard that tracks the number of blacklisted addresses by Centre and Tether. The largest address holds more than 4.5 million USDT and was only recently blacklisted on April 5th.
39 addresses on Tether’s blacklist. Source: Dune Analytics
Like blacklisted addresses containing the USDC, Tether addresses that receive a blacklist feature can no longer transact with Tether, freezing any existing pieces contained in the
Bitfinex (Tether’s sister company) General Counsel Stuart Hoegner told the media that Tether works with international law enforcement agencies and blacklists addresses when necessary:
“Tether regularly assists law enforcement agencies in their investigations… With its address freeze feature, Tether has been able to help users and stock exchanges save and recover tens of millions of dollars stolen from them by hackers.”
Reasons for Caution
Eric Wall, the CIO of Arcane Assets, said on Twitter that the last freeze took place on June 14 and that 939,000 USDT was received from Binance just 22 hours before the blacklist went into effect.
Apart from that, Wall said, most of the other gels were purely preventive measures:
“Most of the other gels seem to have been performed on Ethereum accounts either as a precaution (possibly identified as scams/ponzis) or by mistake/to protect others from errors (such as the 0x000…0001 freeze). 3 addresses were unfrozen after the freeze”
This recent development adds to the distrust of central organizations within the world of cryptography, with a specific resistance to stable coins and their ability to be censored. One user commented on Castonguay’s Twitter post that the Dai (DAI) and sUSD are the only stable coins resistant to censorship.