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Tether Searches Skyrocket Amid UN Money Laundering Concerns

Last Updated January 19, 2024 9:07 AM
Giuseppe Ciccomascolo
Last Updated January 19, 2024 9:07 AM

   Key Takeaways

  • The UN released a report highlighting Tether’s potential for money laundering and other illicit activities.
  • The report has sparked a surge in interest in Tether, with searches for the cryptocurrency on Google Trends skyrocketing.
  • Many cryptocurrency enthusiasts and influencers are now steering clear of recommending Tether.

A recent report  by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has sparked a surge in searches for Tether, the world’s largest stablecoin. The report, which highlighted the potential use of Tether for money laundering and other illicit activities, has led to renewed scrutiny of the cryptocurrency and its impact on the global financial system.

Following the report, searches for Tether on Google Trends have skyrocketed. In the past week alone, searches for Tether have increased by over 310%. This surge in interest suggests investors and regulators are increasingly concerned about the potential risks associated with Tether.

UN Warning

The UN’s report highlighted Tether’s susceptibility to being exploited by scammers and criminals, dubbing it a “parallel banking system” used to facilitate illicit activities. This assessment has prompted a widespread reevaluation of Tether’s reputation. Many cryptocurrency enthusiasts and influencers are steering clear of recommending the token.

A recent study by cryptocurrency tax software CoinLedger  analyzed recent TikTok videos uploaded from September 2023 onwards to shed light on the shift in investor sentiment. The study found Tether was conspicuously absent from investment advice videos. The report said influencers mentioned more reputable and secure tokens like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Cardano with increasing frequency.

Source: Elaboration based on information published by law enforcement and financial intelligence authorities in China.
Simplified USDT-based running points model for facilitating online gambling and money laundering.

These findings suggest the UN’s warnings have resonated with investors and led them to seek guidance on safer and more established cryptocurrency options. As a result, we may witness a notable shift in investment patterns away from Tether towards more trusted alternatives in the coming year.

This growing distrust of Tether underscores the importance of thorough research and due diligence before investing in any cryptocurrency. Investors should carefully evaluate the potential risks and rewards associated with each token before making any decisions.

Tether’s Defense

Tether expressed  its disappointment with the UN report that specifically scrutinized its stablecoin while overlooking its substantial contributions to developing economies in emerging markets and its longstanding collaboration with law enforcement.

In response, Tether has proactively reached out to the United Nations, advocating for an open and collaborative dialogue. The company emphasized its ongoing cooperation with global law enforcement agencies, including the Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the United States Secret Service (USSS). Notably, Tether highlighted the recent integration of the USSS onto its platform.

In its official blog , Tether underscored its commitment to working closely with authorities and pointed out instances where it has assisted in law enforcement efforts. This includes the freezing of more than $300 million in recent months. This showcased the company’s proactive stance in addressing potential issues and collaborating with regulatory bodies.

Most “Influenced” Coins

As UN highlighted, TikTok has become an unexpected source of investment advice. With influencers predicting a potential 2024 bull run linked to a Bitcoin halving, users turn to TikTok for insights on promising investments.

Cryptocurrency influencers on TikTok are forecasting significant price surges in the coming year, drawing parallels to previous instances where Bitcoin halving triggered a ripple effect, propelling the values of various cryptocurrencies. Among the plethora of recommendations, one cryptocurrency stands out as the most endorsed – XPR Network (XPR). An analysis  of TikTok videos indicates that this currency, which is barely in the top 750 cryptos by market cap received recommendations an impressive 20 times. It constitutes nearly 30% of the total videos surveyed.

Following closely behind is the venerable Bitcoin (BTC), garnering the second-highest number of endorsements. Of the 70 videos scrutinized, 26% featured influencers recommending Bitcoin as a sound investment for 2024. This reflects the enduring popularity and trust in this leading digital asset.

Source: CoinLedger
Most recommended coins on TikTok

In the third position, Polygon (MATIC) emerged as a notable recommendation, featured in 22% of the analyzed videos. It’s touted as a cryptocurrency with considerable potential by influencers 16 times.

Out Of The Podium

Meanwhile, Ethereum (ETH) secured its place as TikTok’s fourth most recommended cryptocurrency. Influencers advocated for investment in Ethereum in 14 out of the 70 videos examined.

Intriguingly, the Shiba Inu coin (SHIB) defied the meme coin stereotype by claiming a spot in the top ten list. It surpassed more established memecoins like Dogecoin (DOGE) and Pepe (PEPE). Across the 70 videos, crypto enthusiasts recommended 10 times Shiba Inu, constituting 14% of the endorsements.

As the intersection of social media and cryptocurrency becomes increasingly prominent, TikTok has become a hub for enthusiasts seeking investment guidance. It provides a unique platform where market trends and predictions circulate with notable impact.

Gaming Crypto And AI

The research unveiled a notable trend among crypto influencers who favored artificial intelligence (AI) and gaming cryptocurrencies for investment. But none of these tokens managed to secure a position in the coveted top ten list.

A cryptocurrency expert from CoinLedger  suggested that the year 2024 holds promise for enthusiasts, fueled by speculations surrounding a potential Bitcoin halving within the next 12 months. The anticipation of such an event has led many to believe in the likelihood of a bull run. It also triggered a surge in the stock value of various cryptocurrencies.

Despite the informative content circulating on TikTok, cautionary advice from experts emphasizes the importance of conducting thorough research before diving into any financial investments. The expert underscored  that some TikTok influencers may be driven by financial incentives. So, they may potentially promote certain cryptocurrencies due to undisclosed partnerships or payments, similar to past scams.

A crucial reminder for potential investors is the necessity of responsible financial practices. The volatile nature of cryptocurrencies demands a prudent approach. The expert advised individuals to invest only what they can afford to lose. While the allure of potential gains may be enticing, the inherent risks in the cryptocurrency market underscore the need for a balanced and informed investment strategy.

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