Tether is pushing back against recent accusations from a United Nations agency that its stablecoin, USDT, is used extensively for money laundering and fraud in Asia.
In a new report, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) claims criminals in East and Southeast Asia prefer to use USDT on the Tron (TRON) blockchain due to its stability, ease, anonymity and low transaction fees.
The UNODC says fraudsters and money launderers tend to funnel the USDT, the largest stablecoin by market cap, through online gambling platforms that are often operating illegally.
As evidence of this, the UN report cites several examples, including Tether’s move in November to freeze $225 million worth of USDT in certain Southeast Asian wallets after an investigation led by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) alleged the addresses were connected to “pig-butchering” romance scams.
Tether, however, argues that its collaboration with law enforcement is proof of the opposite.
“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. Tether tokens, using public blockchains, make it possible to meticulously track every transaction, making it an impractical choice for illicit activities.”
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