Tether CEO Details Partnership with FBI and Secret Service in Letter to Legislators

Tether, the company responsible for the USDT stablecoin, has made public letters it sent to the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, underscoring its dedication to security and close cooperation with law enforcement agencies. 

In one of the recent letters, Tether CEO Paolo Ardoino, who recently assumed leadership, emphasized the company’s decision to disable Tether tokens held in wallets associated with the Office of Foreign Assets and Controls (OFAC) sanction list. 

Tether claims to have assisted the Department of Justice, U.S. Secret Service, and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in freezing 326 wallets controlling a total of 435 million USDT. 

However, it seems that the latest frozen wallets contain a smaller number of tokens than the aforementioned sum.

Ardoino also disclosed that Tether has recently onboarded the United States Secret Service onto its platform and is in the process of doing the same with the FBI. 

These partnerships underline Tether’s commitment to collaborating with law enforcement agencies to ensure the integrity and security of its operations.

The letters were specifically addressed to Senator Cynthia Lummis, a well-known proponent of cryptocurrencies within the Senate, and were also sent to the chairs and ranking members of the aforementioned committees. 

Tether’s communication with legislators aims to provide transparency regarding its interactions with law enforcement and its efforts to comply with regulatory standards.

Tether Freezes Tokens of Sanctioned Individuals

Last week, Tether froze the wallets of individuals sanctioned by the U.S. Office of Foreign Asset Controls (OFAC). 

At the time, the company said it aims to prevent potential misuse of its tokens and enhance security measures by aligning with global law enforcement and regulators.

According to blockchain data, Tether froze a total of 161 Ethereum wallets, although 150 of these wallets currently hold no USDT tokens. 

Among the remaining 11 wallets, over 3.5 million USDT tokens are held, with the majority concentrated in a single address holding 3.4 million tokens. 

Notably, this address has been linked to a recent hack of the betting platform Stake.

Of the wallets holding USDT tokens, two addresses contain around 20,000 tokens each, while another holds nearly 60,000 tokens. 

The remaining wallets hold smaller amounts, with one wallet containing just 16 cents worth of frozen USDT. 

Tether’s Bitcoin Bet Starts to Pay Off

In May 2023, Tether announced its plans to allocate up to 15% of net realized profits into Bitcoin on an ongoing basis. 

By holding BTC and other assets, Tether aims to protect its reserves from the loss of purchasing power during prolonged cryptocurrency market downturns.

Courtesy of the recent surge in prices, Tether’s Bitcoin holdings have gained around 85%, or $1.1 billion, since their acquisition.