US Treasury fines BitGo … for allowing Bitcoin to be used

The law is tough, but it is the law – US company BitGo has agreed to pay a fine of around $ 100,000 for a violation of the law. This sanction was pronounced by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the United States Treasury.

A “justified” sanction

OFAC said the sanction was justified as Bitcoin Rush in 183 cases allowed people living in areas sanctioned by the US Treasury to use its digital wallet management service knowingly. of cause.

“Bitgo has failed to prevent people apparently located in the Crimean region of Ukraine, Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria from using its digital portfolio management service. “

OFAC announcement

The point is that between March 2015 and December 2019, BitGo experienced some failures in its verification processes. No control has been carried out to prevent these users from using its services (in this case, a simple hot wallet). Thus, transactions of several thousand dollars have been permitted.

The fine of $ 98,830 is fairly light by OFAC standards, which said it could have ordered BitGo to pay more than $ 50 million for the abusive transactions . This mitigated sanction reflects the fact that BitGo is still a „relatively small company“ .

Risk-based compliance

BitGo implemented a compliance policy in accordance with OFAC sanctions, after the violations were discovered in early 2020. The company said it had „invested in significant corrective actions in response to the apparent violations. “ . These measures include the hiring of a Compliance Officer and the implementation of a new OFAC policy, which now applies to all BitGo services.

“Bitgo will [now] screen all accounts, including its ‚hot wallets‘ , from the list of people blocked by OFAC (…) Bitgo also carried out a retroactive review to identify current users. „