Abuse is growing with the use of cryptocurrency, Europol has acknowledged while also noting that blockchain technology offers authorities new opportunities to fight crime. European law enforcement agencies also said they could help investigate money-laundering networks.
Understanding Cryptocurrencies Is Important To Combat Organized Crime, Europol Says
The widespread use of cryptocurrencies across borders and industries comes with increasing abuse, new forms of crime, and money laundering, the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) has been completed after a recent gathering with crypto experts, financial investigators, regulators, and business representatives.
The 6th Global Conference on Criminal Finance and Cryptocurrencies was recently held at the agency’s headquarters in the Netherlands. This two-day event is supported by the Basel Institute on Governance through the joint Working Group on Criminal Finance and Cryptocurrencies and is intended to boost collaboration between parties involved in investigating and prosecuting crypto-related crimes.
The speaker also noted that when using the right tools, blockchain technology can “offer unprecedented opportunities to investigate organized crime and money laundering networks and to recover stolen funds,” Europol said in a press release. It emphasizes that increasing understanding and capacity in the field of crypto is essential to combat illegal crime and money laundering.
Law enforcement, regulatory bodies, and the private sector are working hard to stay ahead of those trying to misuse crypto assets, Europol said. The agency highlighted the tightening of EU legislation, with upcoming rules designed to ensure that digital currencies like bitcoin receive the same treatment as other assets in the context of money laundering prevention. It also reduces the seizure and management of crypto funds, the police authority added.
Europol further points out that investigators are taking advantage of blockchain-based technology to follow the flow of money, which allows them to not only identify. scammers and hacker but also to expose more ‘traditional’ crime groups and money laundering networks. “Private companies are rapidly innovating to provide the tools and analytical capacity to track laundered funds across multiple blockchains using different obfuscation techniques,” the agency said.
The latest edition of the Europol crypto conference was attended by more than 1,700 participants from 119 countries with speakers representing EU institutions such as the European Parliament, crypto service providers like Binance, the world’s leading digital asset exchange, blockchain forensics and asset recovery companies, including Chainalysis, along with law enforcement officials from several European countries and others like the United States and South Korea.
The event follows important developments in regulating the European crypto space. This summer, the main EU institutions and member states made a deal in the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulatory package after reaching a agreement to adopt a set of anti-money laundering rules for cryptocurrency transactions.
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