Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control stepping up regulations
The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) recently charged Ali Khorashadizadeh and Mohammad Ghorbaniyan of Iran for their involvement in the SamSam Ransomware scheme that occurred earlier this year. For the first time, OFAC not only identified the accused, but their Bitcoin addresses as well.
This new development marks a rise in OFAC’s attempts to throw its hat into the cryptocurrency regulation ring. In March of this year, OFAC prohibited the use of Venezuela’s Petro, marking its first attempt to address cryptocurrencies.
What separates OFAC from say the Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC) is that OFAC governs according to liability rather than obligation. For example, if an ICO unintentionally violates a sanction put in place by OFAC, said company is still liable and therefore faces punishment. OFAC has released a list of “Sanctions Compliance” in order to aid companies in ensuring the laws and regulations are followed.
As more cryptocurrencies are being released, OFAC is increasing sanctions and measures for further regulations and their enforcement. Financial advisors recommend the companies entering the cryptocurrency market to familiarize themselves with OFAC’s policies, and make sure to adhere to any new regulations put in place.