Investigation on Kraken for Breaching US Sanctions

Investigation on Kraken for Breaching US Sanctions
  • Kraken exchange platform holds customers from the country listed in Sanction.
  • Around 2K “verified accounts” are from Iran, Syria, and Cuba.

Kraken, a notable crypto exchange, has been under investigation by the U.S Treasury Department. The investigation is due to the suspension of the platform for allowing users from restricted geo-locations such as Iran, Syria, and Cuba. The exchange is breaching sanctions set up by the U.S government.

As per the data provided about the origin of the customers by Jesse Powell, CEO of Kraken, to their company-wide slack channel, it had names of countries in the SDN list. The Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN) was developed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

The U.S sanctions listed entities are jotted down based on broad or geographic, and others are narrowed down to counter-terrorism or counter- narcotics mottos. But these were majorly focused on traditional banks and finance, and this doesn’t inculcate crypto or digital market. 

Kraken and US Sanctions

According to Powell’s spreadsheet on “verified accounts”, 2.5 M users are from the US, 500K users from Britain. The count of the residents in Iran is 1,522, 149 in Syria, and 83 in Cuba, but the sheet was restricted to the employees very soon. 

The whole crypto industry was dedicated to restricting the flow of transactions from Russia when the country invaded Ukraine. But Kraken CEO was not on the same page here, he has always been challenging the existing regulations and institutions overseeing those.

Powell’s Tweet:

The issue of US Sanctions and Kraken came to light in the year 2019, as the company was found to be entertaining customers from restricted locations.

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