Circle Confirms Freezing $100Ok in USDC at Law Enforcement’s Request

The CENTRE Consortium blacklisted a USDC deal with in response to a legislation enforcement request, freezing $100,000 value of the stablecoin, a spokesperson mentioned Wednesday.

CENTRE, which points the dollar-pegged USDC on prime of the Ethereum blockchain, confirmed the transfer, although Circle spokesperson Josh Hawkins, talking on behalf of the joint Circle-Coinbase operation, mentioned he couldn’t present any specifics concerning the blacklisting, which seems to have occurred in mid-June.

“Centre can confirm it blacklisted an address in response to a request from law enforcement. While we cannot comment on the specifics of law enforcement requests, Centre complies with binding court orders that have appropriate jurisdiction over the organization,” the corporate’s assertion mentioned in its entirety.

A transaction on Etherscan signifies that CENTRE known as a “blacklist(address investor)” operate on an deal with, basically freezing all cash on it. It was not instantly clear who owned the deal with.

“When an address is blacklisted, it can no longer receive USDC and all of the USDC controlled by that address is blocked and cannot be transferred on-chain,” in accordance with a coverage doc shared with CoinDesk.

The incident underscores the bounds of decentralization when regulated companies work together with permissionless networks. While USDC runs on a public blockchain, the place usually funds are underneath person management, with a purpose to stay compliant CENTRE wields the facility to sanction sure accounts.

Only the consortium itself can blacklist addresses, not any particular person USDC issuer, the doc mentioned.

This seems to be the primary time an deal with was blacklisted, as famous in an earlier report by The Block.

Checks and balances

CENTRE retains the appropriate to blacklist addresses underneath two circumstances. The first happens if there’s a potential safety breach or different risk to the community, the coverage assertion mentioned.

According to the doc, CENTRE will even think about a blacklist “to comply with a law, regulation or legal order from a duly recognized U.S. authorized authority, U.S. court of competent jurisdiction or other governmental authority with jurisdiction over CENTRE.”

In each circumstances, a majority of CENTRE’s Board of Managers – which incorporates Circle co-founder and CEO Jeremy Allaire, Coinbase chief monetary officer Alesia Haas and Impossible Foods chief authorized officer Dana Wagner – should vote to approve any blacklisting, and so they would possibly object to such a request if there are commingled funds on a platform or if blacklisting the deal with will in any other case pose a danger to the community, the doc mentioned.

The group can even reverse any such selections.

USDC issuers should alert customers of the potential for blacklisting by together with a press release of their person agreements, the doc mentioned.

“To ensure effective Centre oversight of this Policy, Centre will regularly report publicly, the most up-to-date list of blacklisted addresses, amount of USDC tokens frozen, and corresponding fiat reserves that have been segregated. In addition, this information will be verified and publicly reported by monthly attestation of Centre’s outside accounting firm,” the doc mentioned.


The chief in blockchain information, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the best journalistic requirements and abides by a strict set of editorial insurance policies. CoinDesk is an impartial working subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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