The issuer of the USDT stablecoin, Tether, has refused to freeze addresses associated with the Tornado Cash transaction mixing service without appropriate requests from law enforcement.
Tether Holds Firm on Decision Not To Freeze Tornado Cash Addresses, Awaits Law Enforcement Instruction https://t.co/zpsI9lKLlf
— Tether (@tether_to) August 24, 2022
“So far, OFAC has not advised that an issuer must freeze secondary market addresses published on the SDN list or operated by individuals and entities subject to OFAC sanctions. In addition, no law enforcement agency or US regulator has made such a request, despite our close contacts, ”the statement said.
According to a press release, the company considers blocking addresses unilaterally a “reckless and destructive” measure. According to experts, such actions may adversely affect law enforcement investigations.
Tether criticized the company behind the USDC stablecoin, Circle, which blacklisted addresses associated with the mixing service:
“We consider Circle’s measures taken without instructions from the authorities to be premature. They can jeopardize the work of regulators and law enforcement.”
Unstoppable Finance development manager Patrick Hansen emphasized that, despite its position, Tether is actively blocking addresses on the Ethereum network. According to this indicator, the company is almost ten times ahead of the USDC issuer.
USDT has banned almost 10x more addresses on Ethereum than USDC pic.twitter.com/g4sn1XwkQX
— Patrick Hansen (@paddi_hansen) August 24, 2022
Infura and Alchemy infrastructure platforms blocked RPC requests to Tornado Cash. The non-custodial exchange Uniswap has also closed access to its platform for a number of relevant addresses. Similar measures were taken DEX dYdX.
On August 8, 2022, OFAC sanctioned the Tornado Cash website, as well as 39 Ethereum and 6 USDC addresses associated with it.
On August 12, Dutch authorities arrested an unnamed man on suspicion of being involved in money laundering and hiding criminal financial flows through a cryptocurrency mixer. Later it became known that we are talking about the developer of the service Alexey Pertsev.
On August 22, a rally was held in Amsterdam in his support. The participants stated that open source is not a crime and that the authorities should prosecute the real perpetrators.
The CEO of the Kraken cryptocurrency exchange, Jess Powell, called the sanctions against Tornado Cash unconstitutional, and TRM Labs analysts called it a compliance challenge. Pertsev was also supported by Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson.
On August 24, it became known that the court of the Netherlands left Pertsev under arrest and set a 90-day period during which the first hearing in the case should take place.
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