As the use of cryptocurrencies and other virtual assets expands and evolves, so does their misuse to commit crimes and launder money. How can law enforcement best respond?

This short interview with Stefan Jerga of the Australian Federal Police gives some practical insights to other law enforcement agencies seeking to build and streamline their crypto capabilities.

The 6th Global Conference on Criminal Finances and Cryptocurrencies (#6CRC) – a two-day gathering of thousands of crypto specialists and financial investigators from law enforcement, regulators and the private sector – came to an end today at Europol’s headquarters in The Hague, the Netherlands.

As cryptocurrency use expands into practically every country and sector, so does its abuse to commit new forms of crime and launder dirty money, said speakers.

The crypto industry has exploded in recent years, and authorities in different countries have been reacting in very different ways. Some have banned cryptocurrencies, while others are embracing them to varying degrees. Some are working hard to align their anti-money laundering regulations with FATF standards, while others are turning a blind eye. A few countries have confiscated huge quantities of crypto assets linked to crime and money laundering.

These seven Recommendations emerge from the 5th Global Conference on Criminal Finances and Cryptocurrencies, held virtually on 7-8 December 2021.

The annual conference is organised by the Working Group on Criminal Finances and Cryptocurrencies, a tripartite initiative of the Basel Institute on Governance, INTERPOL and Europol that dates back to 2014 and was formally established in 2016.

Registration is now open for the 5th Global Conference on Criminal Finances and Cryptocurrencies on 7–8 December 2021. The virtual conference explores trends, strategies and tactics in tackling crimes involving virtual assets.

A joint initiative of the Basel Institute on Governance, INTERPOL and Europol, the annual event now draws hundreds of experts and interested parties from around the world.

The Basel AML Index 10th Edition explore four aspects hindering the global fight against money laundering and terrorist financing (ML/TF). The first element crunched Financial Action Task Force (FATF) data on how jurisdictions are responding to money laundering threats related to virtual assets. The answer: not well at all. Excerpt from the full report:

The use of virtual assets such as cryptocurrencies is exploding – for legitimate as well as illicit purposes.

The use of virtual assets such as cryptocurrencies has expanded hugely around the world. Thousands of new users are added each day, and more individuals now use cryptocurrencies than trade on stock exchanges. Yet, as with all emerging technologies, there are risks that cryptocurrencies can be used for illegal activity such as money laundering and terrorist financing.

The fifth event in the Corrupting the Environment webinar series explored the latest trends in the online sale of environmental goods, including live animals and wildlife products. What is happening, where, how much and who is doing it? And what are we missing in our efforts to detect and prevent it?