CENTRE appears to have blacklisted an address holding USDC for the first time


In a first of its kind, an Ethereum address holding 100,000 USDC stablecoin has been blacklisted. 

The transaction, viewed through blockchain explorer Etherscan, shows that a "blacklist(address investor)" function was called on June 16, 2020, by 0x5dB0115f3B72d19cEa34dD697cf412Ff86dc7E1b, an address owned by CENTRE, the entity issuing USDCs.

In USDC's Contract Application Binary Interface, the standard by which smart contracts interact with Ethereum, we can see the address named "blacklister" matches the one that called the blacklist function. According to Circle's website, a blacklisted address will not be able to execute transactions (receiving or sending) through the USDC smart contract. Additionally, Circle adds that all USDC balances held on blacklisted addresses may be "wholly and permanently unrecoverable."

In the Etherscan comment section of a separate address tied to the blacklisted address, a user claimed that the owner of the address stole tokens from him.

A Circle representative, speaking on behalf of CENTRE, provided The Block the following statement: "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."

USDC recently crossed 1 billion in total supply, as reported by The Block.

Editor's Note: This piece has been updated with a comment from CENTRE

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May 5, 2022, 3:17PM UTC