In the case of cryptocurrencies, abuse increases with use, according to Europol, which also noted that blockchain technology give law enforcement a new way to combat crime. The law enforcement organization in Europe claims it can assist in the investigation of money laundering networks.
Following a recent meeting with cryptocurrency experts, financial investigators, regulators, and business representatives, the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) has concluded that the growing use of cryptocurrencies across borders and industries is accompanied by rising abuse, new types of crime, and money laundering.
At the agency’s headquarters in the Netherlands, the 6th Global Conference on Criminal Finances and Cryptocurrencies recently took place. The joint Working Group on Criminal Finances and Cryptocurrencies of the Basel Institute on Governance sponsored the two-day conference with the aim of fostering cooperation among participants in the investigation and prosecution of crimes involving cryptocurrencies.
The use of the appropriate tools, according to speakers, can “provide an unparalleled chance to investigate organized crime and money laundering networks and to recover stolen cash,” according to a news release from Europol. It stressed the importance of growing knowledge and expertise in the field of cryptocurrencies for combating crime and money laundering.
According to Europol, law enforcement, regulatory agencies, and the business sector are putting a lot of effort into staying ahead of individuals who attempt to misuse cryptocurrency assets. The agency emphasized the tightening of EU regulations and the impending measures intended to ensure that virtual currencies like bitcoin are treated equally to other assets in terms of preventing money laundering. The police body noted that this is also making it easier to seize and handle cryptocurrency funds.
In addition, Europol noted that investigators are using blockchain-based technology to track money movements, which has enabled them to expose more “conventional” criminal organizations and money laundering networks in addition to scammers and hackers. According to the agency, “private companies are inventing quickly to give the tools and analytical capability to trace cash laundered across numerous blockchains using diverse obfuscation tactics.”
Over 1,700 people from 119 countries attended the most recent Europol crypto conference, where speakers included representatives of EU institutions like the European Parliament, cryptocurrency service providers like Binance, the largest digital asset exchange in the world, blockchain forensics and asset recovery firms like Chainalysis, as well as law enforcement officials from a number of European and non-European nations like the United States and South Korea.
The gathering comes after significant steps toward regulating the cryptocurrency industry in Europe. This summer, after agreeing to establish a set of anti-money laundering regulations for cryptocurrency transactions, important EU institutions and member states reached an agreement on the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulatory package.
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