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Tether Blocks Terror & War-Linked Crypto Wallets Holding $870,000 in Isreal and Ukraine

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • Tether, in partnership with Israel's NBCTF, has blocked 32 wallet addresses holding $873,118 to counter crypto-funded terrorism.
  • TRM Labs found a 240% increase in USDT use among terrorist-financing entities, surpassing Bitcoin's 80% rise.
  • In a joint effort with Binance, Israeli police seized Hamas' crypto accounts used for war and terror funding.
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Tether, the issuer of the Tether (USDT) stablecoin, has taken a decisive stance against terrorism and warfare by blocking 32 wallet addresses in Israel and Ukraine, collectively holding $873,118.

The company’s stablecoin, the market leader with a massive $83.6 billion in market cap, is being utilized in collaboration with Israel’s National Bureau for Counter-Terror Financing (NBCTF). The pair are working together to combat the rising threat of cryptocurrency-funded terrorism and warfare.

Tether Blocks 32 Crypto Wallets

This move comes in response to the recent Hamas attack on Israel, which resulted in the tragic loss of 1,300 lives. In the aftermath, Israeli police, with assistance from Binance, seized crypto accounts used by Hamas to receive funding via social media.

The Israeli government treasury subsequently received the transferred funds.

A Tether spokesperson said:

“Cryptocurrency operates mostly outside of the traditional financial system and wallet addresses are pseudonymous, which makes those behind transactions difficult to track.”

However, Tether’s commitment to fighting terrorism and warfare has led to a proactive approach to blocking suspicious wallet addresses.

TRM Labs, a US blockchain analysis firm, made claims that Tether was the preferred currency for terrorist financing. The company registered a 240% increase in the use of Tether among the terrorist-financing entities it tracks in 2022, dwarfing the almost 80% rise for Bitcoin.

Use of Tether (USDT) and Bitcoin by terror financing entities 2021-2022. Source: TRM Labs
Use of Tether (USDT) and Bitcoin by terror financing entities 2021-2022. Source: TRM Labs

Tether first froze USDT funds in Israel on March 16, 2023, while the first Ukrainian-associated freeze occurred in 2021. It has not provided updates about the owners of the wallet addresses or their activities. It also has not given a breakdown between Ukraine-related and Israel-related addresses.

Cutting Off the Funds

In a parallel development, Israeli police, in collaboration with Binance, seized crypto accounts belonging to Hamas groups. They used the accounts to solicit donations following their recent attacks on Israel.

The funds were then transferred to the Israeli government treasury.

Read more: 7 Best Crypto Wallets to Store Tether (USDT)

A police spokesperson commented:

“As the war broke out, Hamas launched a fundraising campaign on social networks, asking the public to deposit crypto coins into its account. The cyber and foreign exchange unit worked immediately to locate and freeze the accounts, assisted by the Binance crypto exchange.”

The fight against crypto-funded terrorism and warfare is an effort that will require global cooperation.

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