Bitcoin

BitGo reaches an agreement with the U.S. Treasury Department after violating sanctions against Iran, Syria and Cuba

The U.S. Treasury Department has agreed with BitGo that users in sanctioned areas will be allowed to transact with their cryptocurrency wallet services between 2015 and 2019.

BitGo, an institutional cryptocurrency management service and wallet operator, The Office for the Control of Foreign Assets (OFAC) said in an announcement on Dec. 30 that it had not exercised due care to access its users in Crimea, Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria To block wallet services. OFAC said about BitGo:

“BitGo has not exercised due caution or due diligence in its sanction compliance obligations when it has not prevented people who appear to be in sanctioned jurisdictions from opening accounts and sending digital currencies through its platform because compliance controls fail Appropriate and risk-based penalties were applied. “

The Treasury wrote that there was 183 “apparent violations” of several of its sanction programs totaling just over $ 9,000 in transactions. You keep the status of “visible” The allegations are based on the IP addresses through which users accessed BitGo’s hot wallets. As mitigating factors, the Treasury said: “BitGo is reviewing all accounts, including ‘Hot Wallets’ accounts, on OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Individuals list, including blocked cryptocurrency wallet addresses identified by OFAC.”

BitGo reaches an agreement with the U.S. Treasury Department after violating sanctions against Iran, Syria and Cuba
BitGo reaches an agreement with the U.S. Treasury Department after violating sanctions against Iran, Syria and Cuba

The deal costs BitGo $ 98,830. Given the harshness of the OFAC programs, the process is relatively mild, although the actual value of the transaction was less than 10% of the fine. The civil penalty would have ranged from $ 183,000 to $ 53 million had the case been brought to trial.

But today’s actions certainly matter to other cryptocurrency companies. The announcement makes it clear that OFAC will take a closer look at cryptocurrency services:

“This action shows that companies involved in the provision of digital currency services, like all financial services providers, understand the risks of penalties associated with the provision of digital currency services and must take the necessary measures to mitigate those risks.”

BitGo hadn’t responded to Cointelegraph’s request for comment at the time of this writing.

US regulators are increasing their expectations that companies dealing with virtual currencies will meet customers on the other side. Just before Christmas, the US Treasury Department proposed Laws requiring registered financial institutions to know the identity of the users of the wallets they are working with.

Several United States-approved countries have shown interest in using cryptocurrencies to bypass them. Nicolás Maduro’s regime is famous for its interest in Bitcoin, although its own symbol, the Petro, did not attract the attention of Venezuelans. Iran was also a target of OFAC sanctions related to cryptocurrency.

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