Crypto company Tether freezes accounts linked to terrorism in Israel and Ukraine
A cryptocurrency issuer has frozen several accounts linked to terrorism.
Tether, which controls the stablecoin, a digital currency designed to have a constant value of $1 to avoid wild price fluctuations in other cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, said yesterday it had frozen accounts worth £718,305 because of what it said were links to terrorism in Israel and Ukraine.
A spokesperson revealed that the company has frozen 32 crypto accounts due to “illicit activities.”
Tether said it has been working with Israel’s National Counterterrorism Financing Office (NBCTF) to “counter cryptocurrency-financed terrorism and war.”
The company did not provide details of the owners of the frozen accounts or the division between those connected to Ukraine or Israel.
Terrorist threat: Tether, which controls the stablecoin, said it had frozen accounts worth £718,305 due to what it said were links to terrorism in Israel and Ukraine.
Tether’s decision is likely to further fuel criticism of the cryptocurrency sector.
Many have previously argued that the ability to use anonymous cryptographic ‘wallets’ (strings of numbers and letters that identify a user to send and receive digital currency) makes it much easier for terrorists and other criminals to transfer money without detection.
Last week, Israeli authorities said they had frozen cryptocurrency accounts that were used to solicit donations for Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist group that earlier this month launched attacks on the country that killed about 1,400 people.
The country has confiscated crypto accounts linked to Hamas in the past, as well as others linked to militant groups such as Islamic State (ISIS).
Tether boss Paolo Ardoino said his company is working with authorities to track the illicit movement of funds.