Sanctions violations suspected of US-based crypto exchange Kraken
The crypto market has, and still is experiencing a lot of turmoil these days. The latest to garner attention is Kraken, one of the largest global exchanges. It is under the scanner by the US Treasury for violating sanctions by letting Iranian users and other countries for allowing them trade in digital tokens. This, according to a report by the NY Times.
Kraken is an $11 billion exchange, private, and one of its founders is Jesse Powell. Set up in 2011, it is based in the US. The Office for Foreign Asset Control arm of the Treasury Department has been looking into the company’s activities as of 2019. The company may be fined for its activities. According to NY Times sources, Kraken is the largest company in the crypto sector to face action related to US sanctions on Iran.
These problems came to light in November 2019 when Kraken was sued by an employee for conducting business transactions with countries on a sanctioned list. Though the suit was settled, this information came to the attention of OFAC, and investigations into activities with Iran, Cuba, and Syria were started.
Though Kraken was contacted for comments by the NYT, the company declined to do so. A company spokesman did say that the company monitors laws related to sanctions. It also works closely with regulators to avoid potential problems. According to the Treasury Department, it is committed to enforcing all sanctions strictly and thereby protect the country’s national security.
Other crypto exchanges have been fined by the OFAC for violating sanctions and paid up. Two such companies are BitGo and BitPay. BitGo may have to pay $98,000 for over 180 violations in 2020 and BitPay, $500,000 for 2100 plus violations in 2021.