The UN has warned that Tether is one of the payment methods increasingly favored by money launderers.
Tether is an established cryptocurrency with a token, also known as Tether, which is attracting significant concern due to activity around Southeast Asia in particular. The token, at its most basic level,
is a type of digital money that tries to maintain the same value as the US dollar.
The UN’s Office for Drugs and Crime has detailed how criminals are duping victims with romance scams, leading to ‘pig butchering’ – a term used to describe how people are misled and enticed under false pretenses with the promise of lucrative returns before the funds are taken away reports The Financial Times.
In December, security authorities in the United States seized digital currency worth around $500,000 from an account linked to a Chinese businessman.
What is the UN saying about Tether?
UN spokesman Jeremy Douglas stated, “Organised crime has effectively created a parallel banking system using new technologies, and the proliferation of loosely or entirely unregulated online casinos together with crypto has supercharged the region’s criminal ecosystem.”
Tether has been highlighted because of its instant, irreversible form of transactions.
This was backed by Erin West, a California-based criminal prosecutor and cybercrime expert who stated, “Tether is the mechanism of choice, it’s fast and transactions cannot be retracted. Once the money is moved, it’s moved. You can’t pull it back.”
West continued, “You’re creating a situation where victims are blinded by love, coupled with the opportunity to get rich quickly. They’re being asked to buy something that they’re not familiar with, and prior to cryptocurrency there weren’t many opportunities to do that.”
Tether’s digital token of the same name is a stablecoin, a crypto asset that usually tracks a hard currency to maintain the price. The platform allows traders to move in and out of trades as, unlike others such as Bitcoin, it is pegged to the US dollar.
Although US law enforcement has embraced a crackdown on digital assets in its jurisdiction and overseas, criminals are still utilizing Tether as a successful means of moving money.
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