Tether has added three more Ethereum addresses, holding more than $150 million worth of the Tether (USDT) stablecoin among them, to its blacklist.
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 its blacklist last year and has added 563 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 cyberattacks and law enforcement investigations. Following the KuCoin hack in September 2020, Tether froze about $35 million in 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 chief investment officer 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 Terra’s algorithmic stablecoin, TerraUSD (UST). It is currently the fourth-largest stablecoin with a market capitalization of $10.6 billion. The market cap 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.