‘Crypto-cleansing:’ strategies to fight digital currency money laundering and sanctions evasion


FEBRUARY 13, 2018

Digital currency technologies generated widespread public and investor interest in 2017, with new cryptocurrency products capable of streamlining and decentralizing global commerce. Unfortunately, these technologies also create new money laundering tools that allow countries like Iran, North Korea, and Russia to evade international sanctions. This is especially true of so-called “privacy coins,” which offer personal anonymity and covert transactions to their users.

Failure to restrict privacy coins through regulation of digital currency exchanges has created a financial haven for sanctioned governments, terrorists, and criminal organizations. As digital currencies are unfettered by geographic and political borders, a coalition of regulatory, law enforcement, banking, and academic partners must establish global standards to address the growing threat of digital money laundering.