Tether moves to combat child abuse content marketplaces
Tether aims to increase visibility and mitigate controls of cryptocurrency payments used in child abuse content marketplaces through a collaboration with INHOPE.
The stablecoin operator will work with INHOPE, a global network combating online child sexual abuse material (CSAM), to share information, collaborate with stakeholders and enforce actions on bad actors from the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
According to an announcement shared with Cointelegraph, the collaboration intends to develop a standard practice for the cryptocurrency industry to identify and report these underground marketplaces.
Tether’s chief technology officer, Paolo Ardoino, said the company was working alongside law enforcement, financial intelligence units, lawmakers and standard-setting bodies globally to establish “sensible risk-mitigating controls.“
“We are especially interested in improving the ability of cryptocurrency businesses to identify transfers related to online CSAM marketplaces and report them to the authorities.”
INHOPE has been operating since 1999, with a network of communication hotlines that includes all European Union member states, Russia, South Africa, North and South America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
The partnership is driven by a push to disrupt the illegal use of cryptocurrencies to fund the exchange of child abuse material.
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A statement from Samantha Woolfe, global partnerships head at INHOPE, highlighted the fact that these marketplaces made use of every payment technology available, which calls for more collaboration between private and public sector organizations:
“Cryptocurrency exchange companies, hotlines and law enforcement need to seek more solutions to fight CSAM by sharing critical information and actionable intelligence with increased efficiency.”
Cryptocurrency transactions have been flagged in the past for facilitating the trade of child abuse materials. A report from Chainalysis in 2020 tracked around $930,000 worth of Bitcoin (BTC) payments to addresses associated with CSAM providers in 2019.
UNICEF called for greater regulatory oversight of cryptocurrency markets in early 2022 to help combat the use of cryptocurrencies in facilitating the trade of child abuse material.