Crypto exchange Bittrex said Monday that New York regulators erred in identifying two of its users as North Korean.
It turned out that the same two users had already been investigated by the exchange in October 2017, Bittrex said, adding:
In an op-ed published in CoinDesk Thursday, Shirin Emami, the executive deputy superintendent for banking at NYDFS, stated that when the agency's examiners sampled Bittrex accounts earlier this year, they identified two based in North Korea.
"More may exist," she wrote. "At least one North Korean account was active into 2017," along with two accounts in another sanctioned country, Iran, that were active during this year's examination.
In a rebuttal issued the same day, Bittrex denied having any accounts in either country this year. But Monday's statement represented the first time the company explained why NYDFS might have thought two of the accounts in question were North Korean.
Sanctions compliance is one of several issues NYDFS cited for denying a license to Bittrex, along with broader anti-money-laundering (AML) practices and the exchange's coin listing process.
A Bittrex spokesperson said the company had "nothing to add" regarding the alleged Iranian accounts. An NYDFS spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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