Kraken, a popular cryptocurrency exchange platform, is under the scrutiny of a federal investigation for possible violation of sanctions. Kraken is suspected of allowing users in Iran to purchase and sell digital tokens.
Is Kraken violating sanctions?
Kraken was being investigated by the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control since 2019. In all probability, a fine is going to be imposed on the crypto exchange platform.
According to the New York Times, Kraken disregarded government restrictions on conducting business with Iran, Syria, and Cuba. It allowed customers in those countries to register accounts and trade cryptocurrency on its platform. The report further suggests that Kraken served a total of 1522 customers in Iran, 83 in Cuba, and 149 in Syria.
Jesse Powell, the CEO of Kraken, reportedly told his co-workers that going against the law was a valid option for conducting business and was “worth the risk”.
Privately owned Kraken is the most recent cryptocurrency startup to come under regulatory scrutiny as the federal government focuses on the quickly expanding sector.
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) may take enforcement action against Kraken for sanctions violations relating to Iran if the charges made against the exchange are confirmed. If so, Kraken would become the largest cryptocurrency corporation to be in such a situation. The alleged investigation into Kraken’s international transactions brings to light the growing worries that cryptocurrency firms may be breaking US laws and sanctions against nations like Iran, North Korea, and Russia.