Tether freezes $150 million in USDT

Tether has added three more Ethereum addresses, holding over $150 million USDT stablecoin between them, to its blacklist.

As a centralized company, Tether can blacklist addresses it believes are involved in crime or money laundering – or for any other reason it chooses.

This is the first time Tether has blacklisted an address in 2022, but it added 312 addresses to the blacklist last year and added 563 addresses since it first did so on November 28, 2017.

Tether has not revealed why the three new addresses were blacklisted, however it has used its power to blacklist addresses implicated in cyberattacks and law enforcement investigations. After the Kucoin hack in September 2020, Tether froze about $35 million to prevent hackers from taking advantage of their theft.

There may also be “precautionary reasons” for blacklisting, such as being linked to scams, which Arcane Asset CIO Eric Wall cited as a reason to freeze detached Tether in 2020.

Concerns about the lack of decentralization may be a factor driving the adoption of TerraUSD (UST) from the algo stablecoin blockchain Terra. It is currently the fourth largest stablecoin with a market capitalization of $10.6 billion. The market power of the decentralized competitor still pales in comparison to USDT, however, it is the fourth largest cryptocurrency overall with a market capitalization of $78.5 billion.

Related: Crypto regulation concerns make decentralized stablecoins attractive to DeFi investors

Terra founder Do Kwon tweeted in response to news of Tether’s actions that there is no way to blacklist UST addresses.