US Firm Fined with Half a Million Dollars for Violating US Sanctions
A crypto firm, BitPay will now have to pay a fine of half a million dollars to the U.S Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control for breaching the regulations regarding the crypto service. They extended their services to the regions that were sanctioned.
OFAC stated that BitPay has participated in $120,000 worth of transactions related to digital currency to users from Crimea, Cuba, North Korea, Ira, Sudan, and Syria. OFAC has placed these regions in sanctions which BitPay has violated.
OFAC has now and then asked the crypto firms to align themselves with the sanction programs saying, “This action emphasizes that OFAC obligations apply to all U.S. persons, including those involved in providing digital currency services.”
OFAC has cited 2,102 transactions that have occurred between the year 2013 to the year 2018. The Office states that BitPay has allowed crypto transactions between customers and merchants but only screened the merchants and not the customers.
In the announcement the Treasury “emphasizes that OFAC obligations apply to all U.S. persons, including those involved in providing digital currency services.” https://t.co/ZAmcZjIaC9
— Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) February 18, 2021
BitPay failed to analyze the identification information of the users in the sanctioned locations despite requiring the IP address information about the customers.
A similar settlement was made by OFAC with BitGo by the end of last year. Neither organizations have received heavy fines but this is clearly a sending message to the world of crypto to be more vigilant regarding the sanctions. A number of sanctioned regions have shown their interest in digital currency.