Europol and Interpol reinforce the fight against money laundering through crypto-currencies

In Basel, Switzerland, hosted a two-day seminar, which was attended by over sixty people from 32 countries from financial intelligence units to combat money laundering and cybercrime. At this meeting, Europol and Interpol agreed that it is necessary to strengthen measures aimed at combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism through cryptocurrency.

The seminar was prepared by agreement between the agencies designed to reduce «abuse of cryptocurrency criminals and terrorist organizations.» In particular, the agreed measures include:

  • The increase in «information exchange in the field of money laundering and digital currencies through the use of channels such as Europol, Interpol, Egmont Group and FIU.net»

  • Regulation «of the cryptocurrency exchanges, digital exchanges and developers of purses in accordance with the applicable legislation on combating money laundering and financing of terrorism».

  • The conclusion of agreements concerning «a clear definition of concepts such as crypto currencies, cryptocurrency exchange, is the developer of the cryptocurrency wallets and mixer for inclusion in the legal framework of the EU.»

  • «To take action against cryptocurrency mixers, which are designed for the anonymization of transactions, that does not allow law enforcement to identify and trace suspicious transactions».

After the seminar, from Europol was followed by a statement that the number of crimes associated with the use of cryptocurrency continues to grow. Therefore, Europol «will be to coordinate actions among member countries of the EU and beyond in the quest to respond effectively to this growing threat.»

A few weeks before these statements of Europol, the Republican representative from North Carolina Ted Budd presented to Congress a bill that would create a task force that will research and develop policies to combat the financing of terrorism with the use of cryptocurrencies.

The increased concern related to the use of crypto-currencies by terrorist groups, apparently caused by the recent report of the Fund for the defense of Democracy (Defense of Democracies), in which the author of the report of Fanusa Yaya (Yaya Fanusie) argues that revealed four cases where groups associated with terrorists, have requested donations in bitcoin.

However, a recently published study of Elliptic Curve Cryptography, showed a decrease in the share of all bitcoin transactions connected with criminal activities more than 40%. Starting in 2013, it was determined that the transfers associated with illegal activity, account for only 0.61% of all transactions.

In October 2017, the Commission of inquiry of the British government also came to the conclusion that virtual currencies pose a low risk for terrorist financing, which is unlikely to grow in the next five years.

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