Crypto Exchange Bittrex Fined $30 Million For Breaking US Sanctions  14

Crypto Exchange Bittrex Fined $30 Million For Breaking US Sanctions 

  • Bittrex will be remitting $30 million to the OFAC in its bid to settle the allegations levied by the US watchdog.
  • OFAC had claimed that Bittrex had violated sanctions imposed by the US by engaging with customers from sanctioned jurisdictions.

Crypto exchange Bittrex has settled with the US Treasury department over allegations that the firm violated the sanctions imposed by the OFAC by engaging with users from the sanctioned jurisdictions.

Bittrex Will Pay $30 Million To The US Treasury As Settlement Money.

The US Treasury Department has imposed a $30 million fine on the cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex. The department alleged that Bittrex had violated US sanctions by permitting users from Cuba, the Crimea region of Ukraine, Iran, Sudan, and Syria to conduct cryptocurrency proceedings through the Bittrex platform.

“As a result of deficiencies related to Bittrex’s sanctions compliance procedures, Bittrex failed to prevent persons apparently located in the Crimea region of Ukraine, Cuba, Iran, Sudan, and Syria from using its platform to engage in approximately $263,451,600.13 worth of virtual currency-related transactions.” The statement reads,

In response, Bittrex has agreed to settle allegations levied by the OFAC by offering to pay nearly $30 million to the US watchdog.

Per the new statement, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) claimed that between 2014 and 2016, Bittrex had permitted customers from sanctioned jurisdictions to access its platform even though the platform’s policies and procedures indicated that the exchange was well aware of the sanctions imposed by the US.

“Between predominantly March 28, 2014, and December 31, 2017, Bittrex operated 1,730 accounts that processed 116,471 virtual cryptocurrency transactions totaling $263,451,600. Bittrex’ policies and procedures dating back as far as August 2015 demonstrated that the company had some understanding of OFAC regulations, including knowledge that OFAC generally prohibits US persons from engaging in activity with sanctioned jurisdictions. ” The statement later added

Bittrex had earlier acknowledged that the firm had engaged with customers from sanctioned jurisdictions such as Iran. The exchange had also contacted customers from these exchanges to return their funds back to them. 

The statement issued by OFAC further mentions how the department considered several mitigating factors, including the fact that Bittrex was “small and a new company at the time.” The department further claimed that Bittrex was quick to implement remedial measures in its bid to resolve the said issue. 

“Bittrex subsequently implemented a number of other remedial measures, including implementing new sanctions screening, and blockchain tracing software, conducting additional sanctions compliance training, and begin restricting accounts and screening IP and other addresses associated with sanctioned locations.”

Image: Bittrex/Twitter