Crypto exchange Bittrex fined $24 million for sanctions violation

Crypto exchange Bittrex fined $24 million for sanctions violation

The U.S. Treasury Department announced on Tuesday that it had fined Bittrex $24 million, which is the largest fine imposed on a crypto business for violating sanctions.

According to a report in the New York Times on Tuesday, the Treasury Department handed out its biggest fine to a crypto business when it imposed a $24.3 million penalty on the Bittrex exchange for violating sanctions.

Bittrex was accused of violating multiple sanctions that prohibited U.S. companies from doing business with individuals based in Iran, Sudan, Syria, Cuba, and the region of Crimea in Ukraine.

Andrea Gacki, director of the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, said in a statement on the subject that crypto firms:

“can become a vehicle for illicit actors that threaten U.S. national security,”

He added:

“Virtual currency exchanges operating worldwide should understand both who — and where — their customers are.”

For its part, Bittrex maintained that it had always acted in good faith. The exchange said in a statement:

“Since inception, Bittrex has strived to comply with all government requirements diligently and in good faith,”

And continued that it was:

“pleased to have fully resolved this matter”

Acting Director of FinCEN, Himamauli Das, was quoted by an article on CNBC as stating that Bittrex “unnecessarily exposed the U.S. financial system to threat actors”. He said:

“Bittrex’s failures created exposure to high-risk counterparties including sanctioned jurisdictions, darknet markets, and ransomware attackers. FinCEN has made clear that virtual asset service providers must implement robust risk-based compliance programs and meet their BSA reporting requirements, and will not hesitate to act when it identifies willful violations of the BSA,”

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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