Crypto Exchange Kraken Settles With Treasury Department Over Sanctions Violations


Crypto exchange Kraken has settled with the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) over its apparent violations of sanctions against Iran. The cryptocurrency exchange has agreed to remit $362,159 to settle its potential civil liability and invest an additional $100,000 in certain sanctions compliance controls.

Kraken Settles With OFAC

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced Monday a settlement with Payward Inc. (d/b/a Kraken), a Delaware-incorporated crypto exchange. The announcement states:

Kraken agreed to remit $362,158.70 to settle its potential civil liability for apparent violations of sanctions against Iran … As part of its settlement with OFAC, Kraken also has agreed to invest an additional $100,000 in certain sanctions compliance controls.

According to the Treasury Department, between approximately Oct. 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.”

The Department of the Treasury detailed:

At the time of the apparent violations, Kraken did not implement IP address blocking on transactional activity across its platform.

Kraken voluntarily self-disclosed the apparent violations and cooperated with the OFAC’s investigation, the Treasury Department noted, adding that the crypto trading platform also “undertook significant remedial measures in response to the apparent violations.” The announcement adds:

After identifying this problem, Kraken implemented automated blocking for IP addresses linked to sanctioned jurisdictions. Kraken also implemented multiple blockchain analytics tools to assist with its sanctions monitoring.

The Office of Foreign Assets Control has sanctioned several cryptocurrency trading platforms over time. For example, crypto exchange Bittrex was charged with sanctions violations in October.

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Kevin Helms

A student of Austrian Economics, Kevin found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open-source systems, network effects and the intersection between economics and cryptography.

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