U.S. firm Bitgo gets fined for violating sanctions against Russian occupation in Crimea

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Canan Kevser
05 January 2021, 16:16
Canan Kevser
05 January 2021, 16:16

U.S. firm get fined for violating sanctions by allowing the users located in Crimea, the territory of Ukraine occupied by Russia, to use digital wallet services.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced that the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has entered into a $98,830 settlement with Bitgo “for 183 apparent violations of multiple sanctions programs.”

Bitgo failed to prevent persons apparently located in the Crimea region of Ukraine, Cuba, Iran, Sudan, and Syria from using its non-custodial secure digital wallet management service, according to the announcement.

“Individuals located in Crimea, Cuba, Iran, Sudan, and Syria signed up for ‘hot wallet’ accounts and accessed Bitgo’s online platform to conduct digital currency transactions,” the OFAC detailed.

The agency further explained that Bitgo tracked the users’ IP addresses for security purposes but did not use the information for sanctions compliance purposes.

“Bitgo had reason to know that these users were located in sanctioned jurisdictions based on Internet Protocol (IP) address data associated with devices used to log in to the Bitgo platform,” it said.

Also, OFAC determined that Bitgo did not voluntarily self-disclose the apparent violations.

The 183 cryptocurrency transactions Bitgo processed totalled $9,127.79 and took place roughly between March 10, 2015, and Dec. 11, 2019.