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US senators warn of countries using Tether to circumvent sanctions

Senators sent letters to several departments about Russia, Iran, and North Korea possibly using Tether’s stablecoin to avoid U.S. sanctions.

As The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports, citing official documents, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Roger Marshall asked the Biden administration several clarifying questions related to Russia, Iran, and North Korea’s possible use of the USDT stablecoin.

According to the document, the stablecoin USDT, backed by the U.S. dollar, allowed Russian companies to bypass sanctions and purchase components for drones and other equipment abroad.

Because of this development, senators asked whether the Department of Defense and the Joe Biden administration support the Treasury Department’s request for new powers.

Earlier in April, Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said the active use of cryptocurrencies by Hamas, North Korea, and the Russian military-industrial complex led to Congress needing to approve new powers.

Tether has repeatedly stated that it is cooperating with U.S. authorities and, if necessary, is ready to freeze wallets linked to organizations using the stablecoin to circumvent sanctions.

In late April, Tether officials promised to block addresses sanctioned by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). The news came to light after the media reported that Venezuela’s state oil company is using the USDT stablecoin to circumvent U.S. restrictions.

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