Cryptocurrency Laundering Prevention Workshop in Basel

Financial investigators from more than 60 firms assembled for a workshop at the Basel Institute on Governance. Europol and Interpol organized the workshop. The financial investigation experts in attendance work for various financial intelligence, cryptocurrency laundering, and cybercrime units from 32 countries. Other than financial intelligence experts, the workshop had in attendance relevant representatives from the private sector.

Cryptocurrency Laundering Prevention Strategies

During the workshop, the involved organizations came up with solutions to counter the use of cryptocurrencies to finance illegal activities. The measures agreed upon by financial investigators to curb the misuse of virtual currencies include;

  • An increase in information sharing. The agencies are planning to share more information in the field of money laundering and digital currencies. Channels run by Europol, Egmont group, Interpol, and FIU.net will facilitate the information sharing.
  • The use of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing legislation to regulate both digital currency exchanges and wallet provider.
  • Financial experts in attendance agreed to come up with precise definitions and concepts of digital currency exchangers, mixers, cryptocurrencies, and wallet providers. The inclusion of cryptocurrency definitions and concepts in the European legal framework.
  • Taking legal action against cryptocurrency mixers or tumblers. The use of mixers and tumblers to anonymize cryptocurrency transactions makes it hard for law enforcement officials to detect suspicious transactions.

Terrorist and Criminal Activity Concerns Overblown

During the workshop, Europol made claims that cryptocurrencies are increasingly being used by criminal entities to finance illicit activities. After the workshop, Europol released a statement that stated that the use of cryptocurrencies to finance illegal activities is on the rise. Europol intends to combat the allegedly increasing use of cryptocurrencies to fund illicit activities by expanding the coordination of financial investigators across all EU member states and beyond. Europol believes that extensive coordination by the financial investigation agencies will help fight money laundering and the use of digital currency in financing illegal enterprises.

Research recently done by Elliptic reveals that the use of cryptocurrencies in criminal activities has decreased by 40%. Elliptic also revealed that cryptocurrency transactions that are used in criminal activities account for less than 0.61%.

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