Tether Won’t Freeze Tornado Wallets Without Direct Requests From Legal Authorities

Tether, a stablecoin company, stated today that it would not freeze Tornado Cash addresses without explicit instructions from law authorities.

Tether Has Not Received Requests from Authorities

On August 8, many addresses associated with the Tornado Cash Ethereum coin mixer were added to a U.S. sanctions list.

Tether. Image: Bloomberg

Tether announced it was helping U.S. law enforcement on various freezes, including those linked to recent penalties against Tornado Cash.

However, it has not been instructed to freeze any Tornado Cash addresses. The Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) has not indicated that stablecoin issuers are required to freeze secondary market addresses that are on its sanctions list or belong to sanctioned entities.

The corporation stated that it communicates daily with law enforcement and complies with lawful requests from law authorities.

Tether warns that freezing an address without a request from law enforcement may be very disruptive and irresponsible. It states that doing so might provide suspects with information, force asset holders to liquidate or leave their assets, or impede existing investigations.

Tether also disclosed that it freezes private wallets but not wallets of exchanges and businesses. This alludes that the penalties on Tornado Cash are the first ever to target a technology rather than a person or group.

Tether questioned Circle’s move first to block Tornado Cash addresses regarding its USDC stablecoin. Tether characterised Circle’s action as premature and potentially detrimental to law enforcement operations. Noticeably, other stablecoin issuers, like Paxos and MakerDAO, have not frozen the addresses in question.