$3,390,000,000 in Tether Linked to Shady Activities, Journalist Issues Caution For Investors

Chinese journalist Colin Wu reported that over the past two years, more than 3.39 billion “risky” TRC20 USDT has flowed into OTC trading addresses on Tron.

Citing blockchain analytics firm Bitrace, Wu notes that of these inflows, 14.7% came from online gambling-related sources, 20.1% from addresses associated with scams, and 19.4% tied to money laundering.

Wu cautions that receiving USDT from such flagged addresses or their associated wallets will likely “contaminate” the recipient address. This contamination makes the address’s funds more prone to risk controls and suspensions on centralized exchanges.

More troublingly, Wu warns that investors themselves could become exposed to investigations by law enforcement agencies if they interact with tainted addresses.

The scale of questionable Tether flowing through Tron is concerning. With over $3 billion linked to gambling, scams, and laundering, regulators may increase scrutiny of Tron DApps and Tether flows that could enable illicit activities.

Wu’s warning underlines the double-edged sword of public blockchains. While transparency aids identifying risky funds, cryptocurrencies’ pseudonymity means recipients may unknowingly commingle legitimate and tainted coins.

This latest report from Bitrace highlights the need for proper on-chain analytics before interacting with unknown crypto addresses. Exchanges must also enhance monitoring to account for the growing sophistication of money launderers and cybercriminals exploiting digital assets.

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Vignesh Karunanidhi
Vignesh Karunanidhi

Seasoned crypto writer with deep passion for blockchain and cryptocurrency