US Crypto Exchange Fined Over $360K For Iran Sanctions Violation

Tuesday, 11/29/2022

The US-based crypto exchange Kraken has agreed to pay over $362,000 to the government “to settle its liability” related to breaching Iran sanctions.

Based on a statement by the United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, “due to Kraken’s failure to timely implement appropriate geolocation tools, including an automated internet protocol (IP) address blocking system, Kraken exported services to users who appeared to be in Iran.”

Kraken is a cryptocurrency exchange and bank, founded in 2011. It is reportedly valued at $10.8 billion, as of mid-summer 2022.

As part of its settlement with OFAC, the company has also agreed to invest an additional $100,000 in certain sanctions compliance controls.

The settlement amount reflects OFAC’s determination that Kraken’s apparent violations were non-egregious and voluntarily self-disclosed.

“Between approximately October 14, 2015, and June 29, 2019, Kraken processed 826 transactions, totaling approximately $1,680,577.10, on behalf of individuals who appeared to have been located in Iran at the time of the transactions,” added the statement.

Washington imposed banking sanctions on the Islamic Republic after former president Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal. However, Kraken had apparently been breaching these regulations since 2019 by permitting over 1,500 people in Iran to buy and sell crypto.

Last month, OFAC also fined Bittrex crypto company $24 million for letting clients in Cuba, Iran, Sudan, Syria and Russian-occupied Crimea to make transactions valued over $263 million.

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