One of the major backlashes against cryptocurrencies is the probability of their exploitation by criminally minded individuals. These individuals facilitate their illicit transactions using the feature of anonymity existing on blockchain technology. While governments think that the crypto industry provides more channels for illegal money transfers, there is more to it than meets the eye.
The United Nations (UN) estimated the amount of money laundered annually to be between $800 billion to $2 trillion. Over 90 percent of these transactions sweep by undetected or simply untraceable. Governments all over the world appear concerned about this ever-rising tide in money laundering and the last thing they’d need is another channel that would contribute to the menace.
However, this isn’t the issue. Although the reputable watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has been on the heels of money launderers, going as far as pinning down people like the Indian Crypto King – there is still a lot to be done.
Money laundering has been an existent issue before the advent of blockchains. Before now, billions and even trillions have been laundered using traditional methods, even the government-owned banking systems. Besides, most criminals who have been in the laundering game for a long time are skeptical about leveraging blockchain technology.
The Increase in Demand for Stolen Credit Cards
A lot of dangerous crimes are perpetrated on the dark web. The sale of stolen credit and debit cards is a rising sphere within the darknet and the prices of these cards are skyrocketing every day. Scammers take to buying Bitcoins with a stolen credit card to prevent the exposure of their identities.
Why is This?
Several exchanges employ Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures during registrations, thereby discouraging people from operating multiple accounts. Most times, these scammers are uprooted from the platform for suspicious activities and the only way to get back would be through another’s credit card.
Aside from this, most scammers prefer keeping themselves anonymous. Besides the sale of credit cards, fake IDs, selfies, and more are rampant. Exchanges like Coinbase, Kraken, and Gate.io are the favorites of these scammers.
Although blockchain technology encourages anonymity, on-chain transactions can still be traced. Exchanges have the technology to track down accounts that purchase crypto illegally or use them as a vehicle for money laundering.
Therefore, the pseudonym for crime is not guaranteed. Buying Bitcoins with stolen credit cards is now a thriving method for the facilitation of money laundering.
Cybercrimes and money laundering would persist if the channels are regulated and not disposed of. Just as mentioned earlier, money laundering still thrives in the traditional finance sector, yet it does not mean that the avenue should be shut down or outrightly rejected.
This should be the same with the blockchain innovation which is a blessing of the 21st century to offer what the traditional systems failed to offer. We know money laundering in this sphere is done through a wide array of methods like crypto mixing, layering, P2P, and the rest. What is required is fair management to minimize further occurrences.
The chunk of the workload is on crypto firms themselves who ought to tighten their security measures and quit relying on weak KYC methods. If this objection that has brought heavy criticisms on blockchain technology is handled effectively, the benefits would abound for all.