|Opis:||Money laundering is more than just a financial crime. It is a tool that allows, also other crimes like drug trafficking, political corruption, terrorism, and other crimes.
As a crime, money laundering occurs when someone tries to disguise the nature, location, source, ownership, or control of the illicit money. Money laundering always involves two crimes: the previous crime with which the criminals benefited and the crime of legitimizing this money by channelling through financial institutions. Money laundering harms financial institutions, which are key to economic growth, promotes crime and corruption, which slow down economic growth and reduce efficiency in the real economic sector.
In recent years, financial sector has experienced a major wave of technological innovation with the development of new electronic payment methods. Digital currencies bring many benefits to business, which already provide list of advantages in the financial industry and elsewhere. But digital currencies can also make it easier for criminals to conceal the true source of funds and transfer them across borders with difficult detection. Actors of money laundering crimes are usually at least one step ahead of actual legislation. In the past, this gap in the field of cryptocurrencies was greater, as there was virtually no regulation, but in recent years the situation has improved, as many organizations (FATF, FinCEN, etc.) successfully narrow the area of abuse by cooperating and unifying the rules. Nevertheless, there are many challenges, as new typologies of money laundering appear again and again, which are also presented in more detail in this master's thesis.
But can we use the same analogy as in the analogue world to combat digital money laundering?
Cryptocurrencies, like all digital entities, still have a footprint in the real world. Cryptocurrency exchanges have owners, servers, and registered offices where jurisdictions apply and where laws can be enforced.
In the case of cryptocurrencies, the reason digital exchange operators have long been able to avoid transparent operation is to disguise their identities using a popular method of analogue money launderers: companies without transparent ownership data. As long as such businesses exist, the fight against money laundering in the digital world will be seriously hampered. And so, in the fight against this crime, a very simple and well-established solution is needed in the first place: to stop the practice of companies without transparent data on actual ownership, so that regulators can determine who the real owner and operator of cryptocurrency websites is. When regulators everywhere have this insight into who these owners are they will be able to hold them accountable. Efforts to regulate money laundering more effectively will thus be much more successful. This will not make cryptocurrencies another name for money laundering.
At the end, however, it should be noted that money laundering with modern techniques (digital currencies) still represent a negligible part compared to the amount of money laundered with fiat currencies. The potential for abuse using modern technologies is still significant, so much work remains to be done to prevent such money laundering.|