The United States Treasury Department has levied a record fine of over $53 million upon Washington-based cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex for the perceived violation of multiple sanctions.
Bittrex Fined over $53 Million
The Treasury announced on Tuesday, October 11th, that it had issued Bittex fines of $24.3 million and $29.3 million for contravening sanctions by doing business with individuals operating in Iran, Sudan, Syria, Cuba, and the Crimea region of Ukraine
The $24.3 million penalty was levied by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) for violating the sanctions, while the $29.3 million was issued by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) over Bittrex’s apparent willful violations of the BSA’s AML program, and SAR requirements.
According to the announcement, between 2014 and late 2017, Bittrex allowed an alleged 1,800 inidividuals in sanctioned territories to conduct 116,421 transactions valued at more than $260 million.
Bittrex Settles with Regulators
Bittrex has agreed to pay the fines, which represent the largest penalty ever levied by the OFAC against a cryptocurrency exchange. The platform has since stated that it was “pleased” to be able to settle the charges with U.S. authorities.
In 2018, Bittrex updated its money laundering prevention systems to comply with U.S. regulations. Moreover, the Washington-based exchange has gone on record to state that regulators have not asked Bittrex to make any further changes.
On the Flipside
- Ripple scored another victory in its ongoing legal battle with the Securities and Exchange Commission over the alleged sale of illegal securities.
Why You Should Care
The huge fines are part of a move from United States autorities to regulate the crypto market and the companies offering related services.
The push for regulation in the U.S. has been gathering steam:
Joe Biden’s administration urges Congress to accelerate crypto regulations
Read more about the sanctions placed on Russia:
UK asks crypto exchanges to report suspected sanction breaches amidst Russia’s invasion Of Ukraine