For the first time in the digital asset industry, a crypto address was blacklisted on the basis of a law enforcement request. According to the reports, CENTRE, an organization that issues USDC stablecoin at the top of the Ethereum blockchain, blacklisted an address worth USDC $100,000.
The request for a law enforcement application has yet to be disclosed, but CENTRE, an organization launched under Circle-Coinbase, has issued a statement. It’s said,
“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.”
Josh Hawkins, Circle Spokesperson, speaking on behalf of the incident, said that the blacklisting had taken place back in mid-June, but the representative failed to give any further input on the incident.
According to Etherscan.io, on 16 June a blacklist function was called to that particular “blacklist” address by 0x5dB0115f3B72d19cEa34dD697cf412Ff86dc7E1b, which was an entity owned by the parent organization, that is CENTRE.
According to a policy document shared by the media outlet, it has been stated that a blacklisted address will no longer function as a free address for receiving and transacting USDC and that the crypto assets under the address can not be transferred on-chain. The document referred to,
“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 the monthly attestation of the Centre’s outside accounting firm.”
The above incident has now brought into question the decentralization standards adhered to by CENTRE and USDC if the organization is easily able to blacklist an address without user consent, and Circle ‘s website has also indicated that blacklisted addresses could possibly be “totally and permanently unrecoverable.”
Such censorship was the result of a short reaction from the user of Reddi,
“Central government control and censorship are just going to get worse.”