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Cryptocurrencies as a new means of money laundering and financing of terrorism

Financial Regulation International

Cryptocurrencies as a new means of money laundering and financing of terrorism

Cryptocurrencies have become a dominant feature in the international financial system in recent years with a market capitalisation over US$300 billion and market value over €7 billion globally. From a legal perspective, regulators are worried about criminals who are progressively using cryptocurrencies for unlawful operations such as money laundering and terrorist funding. The Bank of International Settlements and the International Monetary Fund have warned that owing to their features, cryptocurrencies are potentially vulnerable to illicit use and in particular to facilitating money laundering (so-called virtual money laundering) since they can be used to obfuscate the origin of illicit profits. Despite some commentators pointing out that the threats of money laundering posed by cryptocurrencies are currently more theoretical than actual, the issue is extremely important and is considered one of the main urgencies at both the international and national level.

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