Tether, the issuer of the largest stablecoin USDT, said in a statement today that it does not support the decision to freeze Tornado Cash addresses and sanction-listed addresses because they have not received any requests to do so from US law enforcement or regulators.

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), affiliated with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, announced on August 8 that it placed Tornado Cash, the most popular cryptocurrency mixing service, on the sanctions list for allegedly serving criminals and being used to launder more than $7 billion in money. After this remarkable decision, many cryptocurrency exchanges, companies and projects decided to freeze Tornado Cash addresses. However, Tether, the issuer of the largest stablecoin USDT, has boldly announced that it will not freeze Tornado Cash addresses until there is any request from US law enforcement or regulators (at least for now). Tether said there was no official request.

   “Until now OFAC has not requested the stablecoin issuer to freeze secondary market addresses that are on OFAC’s sanctions list or operated by individuals and entities sanctioned by OFAC.”

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There was also a response to the Washington Post's report, which claimed that it "may be in violation" of new US Treasury Department sanctions against Tornado Cash.

   "Furthermore, no U.S. law enforcement or regulator has made such a request, despite our close daily communication with U.S. law enforcement whose requests always provide precise details."

OFAC is currently listing several addresses it has sanctioned for Ether (ETH) and USD Coin (USDC), another USD-pegged stablecoin. Although there is no address with the name USDT for Tether's USD-indexed stablecoin in the list, the fact that transactions can be made on the Ethereum network using the USDT and ERC-20 token standard may change the situation. For example, a Tornado Cash address processed a USDT transaction days after the US Treasury Department sanctioned decision. This means OFAC can also take action for USDT addresses.

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Tether argues that they are in close contact with US law enforcement and will freeze addresses when legitimate requests are received from the authorities, but they have not received any such requests from the US administration regarding Tornado Cash addresses, which are on the sanction list.

   “Tether normally complies with requests from US authorities and is in close contact with them almost daily. For example, we have cooperated with US law enforcement on the freeze of several addresses, including the last two weeks after OFAC made a public statement about Tornado Cash No specific request has been made regarding the freezing of a Tornado Cash address."

Tether also believes that the unilateral freezing of secondary market addresses could be a highly destructive and reckless move. According to the company, even if the activities of such an address are considered suspicious, the freezing process without any instructions from law enforcement and other government agencies could be a direct intervention in the investigations of law enforcement officials, which are ongoing and extremely complex.