Money laundering & Bitcoin: the preconceived ideas
- The amount of Bitcoin involved in illegal activities is decreasing.
- The technology of crypto-tracking is improving, revealing a less worrying world.
- Cryptography may be able to rid itself of its constant stigma and become more common.
The Trust Project is an international consortium of media organisations based on transparency standards. For some, the concept of crypto-money goes hand in hand with Bitcoin Code money laundering. That said, recent research suggests that bitcoin trucks have nothing to do with it.
Bitcoin’s biggest boost before 2017 may have been the news of the money laundering market „Silk Road“. When the world discovered an online place where you can send untraceable money to buy drugs and weapons, it sparked interest. Bitcoin has attracted hordes of new followers, some with good intentions and some with bad intentions.
The authorities have now closed down „Silk Road“ and the public has largely forgotten about crypto-money until its media buzz in 2017.
Unfortunately, this information leak has created many negative connotations for Bitcoin. Prior to 2016, most people had heard about Bitcoin, that its price often fluctuated, and that it was used to finance money laundering.
So how much bitcoin is actually being used for illegal activities today, and is this consistent with public opinion?
A 2019 article by Foley et al revealed that up to 26% of Bitcoin users and up to 46% of Bitcoin transactions were used for money laundering. These types of transactions accounted for $7 billion in Bitcoin equity and $76 billion in trade volume in 2017.
While striking, these figures are not without reservation. Since 2017, Bitcoin has attracted much greater public interest. With this has naturally come more attempts at Know Your Customer (KYC), regulation and better monitoring protocols.
Some entities even sell their services exclusively for these purposes. The anti-money laundering (AML) company AMLBot uses its algorithms to track Bitcoin addresses and transactions that have been involved in illegal activities.
Indeed, this tool has shown that regulatory trends in crypto are likely to decrease the amount of „illegal“ crypto-currency addresses. AMLBot told BeInCrypto:
„We expect the number of illicit addresses to fluctuate around 2% due to deepening regulations and strict AML/KYC policies on major exchanges. No matter what happens outside the exchanges, within the exchange, BTC addresses are becoming regularised. »
Money laundering : Corrupted Bitcoin
AMLBot’s crime research methodology identifies items related to crimes ranging from illegal markets to ransomware attacks to stolen items. The technology qualifies illicit bitcoin as risky.
In AMLBot’s categorisation system, suspicious activity may come from crypto cash machines or exchanges without KYC (Know Your Customer), while reliable coins may come from mining or highly regulated known portfolios.