As a centralized company, Tether is able to blacklist addresses it believes are involved in crime, money laundering — or for any other reason it chooses.
This is the first time Tether has blacklisted an address in 2022 but it added 312 addresses to the blacklist last year and has added 563 all up since it first did so on Nov. 28, 2017.
Tether has not revealed why the three new addresses were blacklisted, however it has used its power to blacklist addresses involved in cyber attacks and law enforcement investigations. Following the Kucoin hack in Sep. 2020, Tether froze about $35 million USDT to prevent hackers from capitalizing on their theft.
There may also be “precautionary reasons” for the blacklisting, such as being associated with scams, which Arcane Asset’s CIO Eric Wall noted as a reason for a separate Tether freeze in 2020.
Concerns over a lack of decentralization may be a factor driving up adoption of the TerraUSD (UST) stablecoin from algo stablecoin blockchain Terra. It is currently the fourth largest stablecoin with a market cap of $10.6 billion. The marketcap of the decentralized challenger still pales in comparison to USDT however, which is the fourth largest crypto overall with a market cap of $78.5 billion.
Do Kwon, founder of Terra, tweeted in response to the news of Tether’s actions that there was no way to blacklist UST addresses.