Law enforcement has not instructed the company to freeze Tornado Cash addresses.
- Tornado Cash is an Ethereum mixer whose address was approved by OFAC earlier this month.
Stablecoin companies Tether said today that it will not freeze unspecified Tornado Cash addresses from law enforcement.
Tether has not received a freezing order
Tether said it has not ordered the freezing of Tornado address.
Several addresses associated with the Ethereum mixer Tornado Cash were released in August It was added to the US sanctions list on the 8th.
- Tether announced today that it will not freeze Tornado Cash unless ordered to do so. The stablecoin issuer said it is cooperating with law enforcement, but has not received a freezing order.
In today’s announcement, Tether said it was cooperating with U.S. law enforcement on various freezes, including with Freeze related to recent sanctions on Tornado Cash.
However, Tether confirmed that it was not specifically ordered to freeze any Tornado Cash addresses. It said the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) “did not indicate that it expects stablecoin issuers to freeze secondary market addresses” on its sanctions list or as a sanctioned entity.
The company writes that it is in “almost daily contact” with law enforcement, adding, When it receives a legitimate request from law enforcement, it complies with the order.
Tether said that in the absence of Freezing addresses if requested by law enforcement could be “extremely disruptive and reckless”. It said doing so could provide clues to suspects, cause asset holders to sell or give up their funds, or interfere with ongoing investigations .
Tether also said it would freeze wallets held privately, but not those belonging to exchanges and Service wallet. This statement seems to hint at a common argument that the sanctions against Tornado Cash are the first to be sanctioned against technology rather than individuals or groups.
Finally, Tether criticized Circle’s initial decision to list Tornado Cash addresses associated with its USDC stablecoin blacklisted. Tether called Circle’s move “premature” and could damage law enforcement efforts. It noted that other stablecoin issuers such as Paxos and MakerDAO did not freeze these addresses.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this article owns BTC, ETH, and other cryptocurrencies.
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