Laundering Illegal Cryptocurrencies

One of the main arguments against cryptocurrencies is their potential as an instrument of money laundering.

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One of the main arguments against cryptocurrencies is their potential as an instrument of money laundering. This potential comes from the ease offered by some virtual currencies to launder money (for example, cryptocurrencies stolen by hacking a company) without the need for complicated operations.

“Stolen cryptocurrencies can be easily bleached in any digital coin purchase service.”

In fact, it is estimated that 64% of the cryptocurrencies bleached during 2018 (which would amount to about one billion dollars) was made in basic digital exchange houses. Exchange houses (or exchanges) are web pages that allow the purchase of cryptocurrencies.

The data, contributed by an analysis team of the company Chianlysis, affirm that an additional 12% of the money laundered last year was exchanged with p2p (peer to peer). This would add a total of 76% of all money laundered last year. Therefore, three quarters of the “illegal” cryptocurrencies would have passed through popular exchanges. The rest, would have been laundered with other methods, such as online sportsbooks.

This means that the criminals, with their illegal cryptocurrencies, registered on a digital forex trading website and deposited theirs without any complication. Afterwards, they only have to withdraw the money, although it also depends on the fiscal policy of the country in which it occurs.

How can an illegal cryptocurrency be?

In most cases, these bleached cryptos come from computer attacks on individuals and exchanges. For example, it is estimated that 38 million dollars of Ethereum have been stolen during 2018 through phishing, pyramid schemes, etc.

However, one billion dollars in cryptocurrencies is not so much, especially considering that the total Bitcoin transactions during the past year reached 410,000 million dollars. Even so, it is a problem that brings head to the companies dedicated to the crypts, especially because it attracts attention from different governments, which translates into regulation of the sector.


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