BitGo settles with US Treasury over sanctions violations

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Crypto firm BitGo has settled with the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) for apparent violations of sanctions programs.

According to OFAC, BitGo failed to prevent persons located in sanctioned jurisdictions, such as Crimea, Cuba, Iran, Sudan, and Syria, to open accounts and use its "hot wallet" services. The apparent violations occurred between 2015 and 2019, where BitGo processed 183 digital currency transactions, totaling nearly $9,130.

OFAC said BitGo had reason to know that some of its users were located in sanctioned countries based on those users' IP addresses, but failed to implement controls at the time of the transactions. As BitGo did not voluntarily self-disclose the apparent violations, it will pay a fine. 

The firm has agreed to pay $98,830 to settle its potential civil liability. Penalty for such cases can go up to $53 million, but this case is "non-egregious," said OFAC, adding that BitGo cooperated with the investigation, took remedial measures, and hired a chief compliance officer.

Overall, the case highlights that crypto companies should take the necessary steps to understand and mitigate sanctions risks, just like all financial services providers, said OFAC.

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Sep 22, 2021, 2:30AM UTC
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