Tether responds to US lawmakers’ calls for DOJ action, onboards FBI

Tether responds to US lawmakers’ calls for DOJ action, onboards FBI

Tether, the company behind the stablecoin Tether (USDT), disclosed letters directed to United States lawmakers addressing requests for intervention by the Department of Justice (DOJ) about the illicit use of its stablecoin.

The communications were sent to members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and the U.S. House Financial Services Committee on Nov. 16 and Dec. 15, detailing “Tether’s commitment to fighting illicit use of stablecoins.”

The letters aim to answer calls from Senator Cynthia Lummis and Representative French Hill from October, urging the DOJ “to carefully evaluate the extent to which Binance and Tether are providing material support and resources to support terrorism.”

The lawmakers made the remarks after Hamas launched a coordinated attack against Israel on Oct. 7, which they suggested was supported in part by illicit crypto transactions “providing significant terrorism financing.”


As part of its response, Tether stated that it has a Know Your Customer (KYC) program, a transaction monitoring system and a “proactive approach” to identifying suspicious accounts and activities.

“We have always assisted law enforcement when called upon to act, and we remain fully committed to continuing to work proactively with agencies globally. Tether has and will assist in identifying and freezing addresses subject to sanctions, engaged in illicit activity, or engaged in any form of terrorist financing.” 

In addition, Tether mentioned that clients’ reviews do not end with their onboarding, claiming it uses surveillance monitoring tools to continuously track client activity. It stated: “In particular, Tether uses the Reactor tool from Chainalysis and receives secondary market risk reports from this Company. These surveillance tools are considered to be the leading options for blockchain surveillance and are used by many U.S. government agencies to surveil activity on the blockchain.”

The company also disclosed that it onboarded the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to its platform as part of collaboration efforts with law enforcement. “These strategic relationships reinforce our commitment to supporting law enforcement in combating nefarious activities and contributing to the recovery of victims’ funds.”

In a related development, Tether announced on Dec. 9 that it had initiated a voluntary wallet-freezing policy, offering secondary market controls to freeze activity connected with sanctioned persons on the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control Specially Designated Nationals List.

Previously, in 2022, Tether had refused to proactively freeze wallets associated with irregular activities. However, the intense crackdown on crypto firms in the U.S. and worldwide prompted the company to rethink its strategy.

“Tether seeks to be a world class partner to the U.S. as we continue to assist law enforcement and expand dollar hegemony globally,” stated Tether CEO Paolo Ardoino.

The scrutiny of crypto firms in the U.S. over 2023 favored USDT’s market share, which sits at $90 billion at the time of writing, according to CoinMarketCap.

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