Tether, the company responsible for issuing the USDT stablecoin, has disclosed its extensive collaboration with various U.S. government agencies. These partnerships, with entities such as the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Secret Service, are focused on enhancing the safety of the stablecoin ecosystem and assisting in law enforcement actions against illicit activities.
In a set of letters addressed to Senator Cynthia Lummis, Tether outlined the nature of its cooperative relationships with these agencies. The company aims to combat illegal activities and aid in funding recovery efforts. Tether’s CEO, Paolo Ardoino, in a letter dated December 15, emphasized the company’s proactive approach to security. This includes freezing funds held in wallets on the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list, a measure Ardoino described as crucial for protecting users and maintaining the integrity of the stablecoin ecosystem.
Ardoino detailed Tether’s operational processes that facilitate collaboration with these government agencies. He noted:
“Tether recently onboarded the United States Secret Service into our platform and is in the process of doing the same with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).”
This collaboration has led to tangible outcomes, with Tether reporting the freezing of approximately 326 wallets, amounting to a total of $435 Million, in coordination with these agencies.
Tether’s letters respond to Lummis’s request to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland in October. Lummis had urged the DOJ to investigate how Tether and Binance may have supported terrorism through violations of sanctions laws and the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA).
Binance recently settled with the DOJ in a related development, pleading guilty to BSA violations and agreeing to pay over $4 billion to resolve the investigation. This collaboration between Tether and U.S. government agencies underscores a growing trend of cooperation between cryptocurrency entities and regulatory bodies, aiming to enhance compliance and security within the digital asset space.