US Treasury issues guidance on sanctions compliance by participants in the crypto industry

US Treasury issues guidance on sanctions compliance by participants in the crypto industry

The US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has issued guidance to members of the cryptocurrency industry on their compliance with US sanctions.

The document recommends the use of "geolocation tools" to identify and block IP addresses from restricted jurisdictions.

The authorities have included miners, technology companies, exchangers and traditional financial institutions that may have access to cryptocurrencies among the entities that must develop risk assessment programmes.

"The obligation to comply with OFAC sanctions applies equally to transactions involving virtual currencies and traditional currencies [...]. Participants in the virtual currency sector are responsible for ensuring that they are not directly or indirectly involved in sanctioned transactions," the guidance said.

Separately, the agency recalled the administrative and criminal liability for non-compliance.

In September, the US Ministry of Finance included cryptocurrency exchanger Suex with offices in Moscow and St. Petersburg, as well as 25 addresses in bitcoin, Ethereum and Tether networks on its sanctions list.

According to the agency, at least eight ransomware operators, scam projects, darknet marketplaces and the now-closed BTC-e exchange passed through the platform.

As a reminder, bitcoin exchange Binance reported deleting several accounts associated with Suex addresses in accordance with internal security measures.

The editorial was contacted by several users of the platform who had fallen under the blocking due to a potential link to Suex. Six Binance customers later reported that restrictions on their personal accounts had been lifted.

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