Tether and OKX announced the largest USDT freeze in history today

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In a historic announcement, Tether and OKX, major figures in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, today revealed the most significant USDT freeze in history. This unprecedented decision arose from a collaboration with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), triggering the proactive freezing of approximately 225 million USDT tokens in external wallets linked to an international human trafficking ring.

Collaboration with the DOJ and international operation

Collaboration with the DOJ was key in this historic operation. The research, supported by Chainalysis blockchain analysis tools, led to the largest USDT freeze on record to date. Tether took proactive steps, freezing funds linked to an Asian syndicate responsible for an elaborate romance fraud known as “pig butchering.”

Coordinated action and official requests

During months of intense investigation, Tether and OKX proactively alerted law enforcement agencies, including the United States Secret Service, triggering an official freeze request. The frozen wallets, located on the secondary market, are not linked to Tether clients. However, any seizure of legitimate wallets will be dealt with expeditiously in collaboration with the relevant authorities.

Blockchain transparency as a deterrent

This milestone not only highlights the effectiveness of collaboration between the cryptocurrency industry and global law enforcement agencies, but also underlines the crucial role of transaction transparency on the blockchain as a deterrent against illicit activities.

Commitment to security in the crypto space

Paolo Ardoino, CEO of Tether, highlighted: “Through proactive engagement with global law enforcement agencies and our commitment to transparency, Tether seeks to set a new standard for security in the crypto space.” This collaboration with the DOJ highlights the company’s focus on security and integrity.

OKX Proactive Collaboration

Jason Lau, Chief Innovation Officer at OKX, stressed the importance of collaborating with industry players and law enforcement agencies. “At OKX, we will continue to contribute to these initiatives proactively,” he said, highlighting the exchange’s active role in initiatives to build trust in the industry.

Maintaining industry integrity

In its continued commitment to integrity, Tether follows strict Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) protocols. Collaborating with global law enforcement and investigating suspicious secondary market transactions are additional steps to prevent illicit actions.