Tether, a stablecoin issuer, has confirmed that $435M in USDT linked to criminal activities has been frozen. The wallets were frozen on December 15th and the news was shared with Senator Cynthia Lummis and U.S. Representative French Hill.
The firm is working closely with the United States Secret Service and the FBI to strengthen its compliance measures. Tether also has a KYC program, a transaction monitoring system, and is taking a proactive approach to identifying suspicious activities.
On December 9th, the firm initiated a voluntary wallet-freezing policy to mitigate criminal and terrorism-linked transactions with USDT as much as possible. This follows Lummis and Hill’s remarks that Hamas used cryptocurrency to facilitate its attack on Israel in early October.
Shakepay, a Canadian-based Bitcoin “pay friends” application recently detected suspicious activity on an employee’s work device. As a result, some customer information leaked, including names, emails, addresses, date of birth, phone numbers, occupations, trusted contacts, account balances, and transaction activity. The firm is providing free credit monitoring for two years to affected customers.
Tap Protocol, a Bitcoin Ordinals-based development platform, has raised $4.2 million in a round led by Sora Ventures. The firm plans to use the investment to enable more decentralized finance, tokenization and gaming applications on Bitcoin.
VanEck CEO Jan van Eck predicts that within the next 12 months, Bitcoin will surpass its all-time high price of $69,000. He believes the price appreciation could be fuelled by several spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund applications that could be approved by the U.S. securities regulator between January 5th and 10th.
In other news, Solana-based gaming ecosystem Aurory was reportedly breached on December 17th, resulting in a drop of nearly 80% in liquidity of the AURY-USDC pool on the decentralized exchange Carmelot. The Ministry of Finance of Palau has officially launched the second phase of its Palau Stablecoin (PSC) program.