It’s rough seas for crytpocurrency exchanges nowadays and the most recent to be buffeted is among the world’s largest, Kraken. It’s reportedly under investigation by the united states Treasury Department over possible sanctions violations for letting users in Iran and elsewhere trade digital tokens, in accordance with THE BRAND NEW York Times.
Kraken is really a private exchange valued at $11 billion co-founded by leader Jesse Powell in 2011. The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has been investigating the business since 2019 and could impose an excellent, based on the NYT‘s sources. It will be the biggest crypto company to handle enforcement action linked to US sanctions imposed in 1979 prohibiting the export of goods or services to Iran.
Sanctions issues at Kraken first came up in November 2019 when a worker sued the business for employing prohibited countries. That suit was settled, however the OFAC began investigating the business exactly the same year over accounts in Iran, and also other sanctioned countries including Syria and Cuba.
Powell allegedly posted a spreadsheet to an organization Slack channel showing that Kraken had 1,522 accounts in Iran, 149 in Syria and 83 in Cuba by last month, based on the NYT. The info supposedly originated from residence home elevators “verified accounts.”
Kraken declined to comment to the NYT, but said that it “closely monitors compliance with sanctions laws and, as an over-all matter, reports to regulators even potential issues.” A Treasury spokesperson said the agency was focused on enforcing “sanctions that protect US national security,” but additionally gave no more details.
OFAC has previously fined other cryptocurrency exchanges over similar sanctions violations. BitGo was hit with a $98,000 fine in 2020 over 183 violations, and BitPay face a $500,000-plus fine this past year for just two 2,102 violations.
Cryptocurrency exchanges are facing a lot more than the most common scrutiny nowadays. This past year, the world’s largest crytpo exchange Binance faced a US money laundering probe to be a significant destination of illicit cryptocurrency. Crypto lender Celcius is under investigation by multiple states after it froze transactions, and the Winklevoss twins’ crytpo exchange Gemini is facing lawsuits over a $36 million crypto theft.
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