The largest stablecoin issuer by market capitalization, Tether, is continuing serving accounts tied to Tornado Cash, a cryptocurrency mixer sanctioned by the US Treasury Department, The Washington Post reports, citing data provided by Dune Analytics.
Subscribe to our Telegram channel to get daily short digests about events that shape the crypto world
Tether CTO, Paolo Ardoino, said in a statement that the Hong Kong-based firm was not contacted by US officials or law enforcement agencies with a request to block addresses, which had ties to Tornado Cash. However, Ardoino hinted that the firm is not required to follow sanctions, because it "does not operate in the United States or onboard US persons as customers."
A former official for the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), said Tether is playing with fire it is a "particularly bad time for any crypto-related company to do that."
OFAC sanctioned Tornado Cash in early August for laundering over $7 billion worth of crypto since 2019.
The regulator said that the smart contract helped North Korean hackers Lazarus Group launder $455 million of stolen crypto. Moreover, Tornado Cash reportedly helped launder over $96 million from the Harmony bridge heist as well as $7.8 million from the Nomad bridge hack.
Access more than 50 of the world's financial markets directly from your EXANTE account – including NASDAQ, London Stock Exchange and Tokyo Stock Exchange