Tether Responds to UN Report, Rejects Claims Linking USDT to Criminal Activities
Tether issued an official response to UN’s report claiming USDT as criminal’ favorite tool for scams and fraud in Southeast Asia.
USDT stablecoin provider Tether issued an official response to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s (UNODC) new report, which labeled the issuer as a tool for illicit activities in Southeast Asia.
Tether criticized the report for overlooking the countermeasures the company has implemented in collaboration with global law enforcement, emphasizing its efforts to work with authorities in addressing crimes involving blockchain-based cryptocurrencies, aiming to foster a more nuanced understanding of the measures taken to combat illicit activities in the region.
“The UN fails to highlight the important role that blockchain technology plays in finding, stopping and preventing illicit activities given that the public ledger makes it possible to meticulously track every transaction,” said Tether, in an email to Metaverse Post.
Furthermore, Tether asserts that through partnerships with it, global law enforcement gains the capability to freeze illicit transactions, providing an added deterrent against the misuse of cryptocurrencies. This unique capacity is not attainable with fiat currencies or any other form of asset.
“The monitoring of Tether tokens through our collaboration with global law enforcement including the DOJ, FBI, and USSS (which was recently onboarded on the Tether platform) ensures unparalleled monitoring, surpassing traditional banking systems that for decades have been the vessel for laundering substantial sums proven by the fines that have been levied on them,” said Tether in an official statement. “Tether tokens, using public blockchains, make it possible to meticulously track every transaction, making it an impractical choice for illicit activities.”
Moreover, the company said that utilization of public blockchains enables a thorough tracking of each transaction that renders it an impractical option for engaging in illicit activities. This is exemplified by its recent action to freeze a sum exceeding $300 million in the past few months, highlighting commitment to addressing the illicit use of cryptocurrencies.
Tether has implemented the security measures, inclusive of collaborative development with Chainalysis to create a tool for monitoring secondary markets, which allows it to successfully safeguard the community.
Urges UNODC to Broaden Focus Beyond Risks
UNODC’s analysis overlooks the traceability of Tether tokens and the established track record of Tether collaborating with law enforcement.
“Rather than focusing solely on risks the UN should also discuss how centralized stablecoins can improve anti-financial crime efforts. There are yet many more opportunities to work to stop financial crimes on blockchains and it behooves the UN to work with the industry to understand and execute modern strategies to fight financial crime. Tether will happily collaborate on such matters,” said Tether.
The company expressed its belief that the UNODC stands to gain substantial benefits from an enhanced understanding of blockchain technology and the significant advancements it brings to the realm of combating financial crime. It encouraged UNODC to take a proactive approach to learning and highlighted the importance of fostering a more informed environment.
Tether also announced extended support to the UNODC in its pursuit of acquiring a deeper understanding of these matters and invited the entity to participate in collaborative dialogue, drawing upon the successful partnerships it has established with numerous global law enforcement agencies.
USDT’s Dominance Expands Amid Regulatory Scrutiny
Pegged to the US dollar, Tether USDT stablecoin enables traders to easily navigate in and out of cryptocurrency trades. This sets it apart from non-pegged cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, which are predominantly utilized for speculative purposes.
With an approximate circulation of $95 billion, USDT holds the position of being the largest stablecoin of its category. Notably, in 2023, Tether’s share of the global stablecoin supply witnessed a rise from 50% to 71%.
Yesterday, UNODC’s report titled “Casinos, Money Laundering, Underground Banking, and Transnational Organized Crime in East and Southeast Asia: A Hidden and Accelerating Threat” — disclosed that over recent years, law enforcement and financial intelligence authorities have noted a rise in the utilization of advanced, high-speed money laundering techniques by specialized teams operating in the underground utilizing USDT in Southeast Asia.
Additionally, the report underscored the increasing involvement of stablecoins in illegal online gambling platforms and “pig butchering” scams.
Tether has been under regulatory scrutiny in recent years regarding its asset management practices and affiliations with financial institutions. Despite facing numerous allegations, the company has been quick in addressing them and actively seeking collaboration with relevant authorities.
In late December 2023, the company enlisted the services of the US Secret Service and Federal Bureau of Investigation on its platform to enhance efforts in combating illicit activities.
As Tether counters the allegations expressed in the UN’s report, the company remains steadfast in its collaboration with global law enforcement, promoting transparency and accountability in digital currencies.
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