Anti-money laundering software company First AML reveals research findings into cryptocurrency’s role in money laundering

There is no doubt that cryptocurrency is becoming increasingly popular as a medium of exchange, but unfortunately, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.

A recent survey by anti-money laundering technology company First AML has revealed that the growing use of cryptocurrencies is also fuelling an alarming rise in money laundering activities.

The study, which gathered responses from 250 ANZ business leaders and individuals working in compliance, found that 73% of those working in compliance are worried about the increasing threat of money laundering through cryptocurrencies.

To make matters worse, nearly 40% of compliance-related companies in Australia have detected instances of cryptocurrency-related money laundering. And more than half of the survey respondents (51%) feel that current practices only partially address the issue.

Keeping up with evolving techniques is key

One of the most significant challenges in combating cryptocurrency-related money laundering is keeping pace with evolving money laundering techniques. According to the survey, 34% of respondents cited this as the biggest challenge.

It’s not just businesses that are struggling though. 80% of business leaders believe their company’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance can be improved.

And for those that don’t get their AML act together, there are consequences. Over 40% of businesses surveyed reported that they have experienced fines or penalties due to AML non-compliance.

On top of that, a whopping 93% of those businesses said that these penalties had a negative impact on their operations.

Insights to improve

But it’s not all doom and gloom. The survey also provides important insights for businesses and individuals working in compliance to improve their AML processes.

For example, difficulty in identifying and tracking suspicious actors (23%) and a lack of clear regulatory guidance (19%) were identified as additional challenges that need to be addressed.

First AML chief executive Milan Cooper said the emergence of cryptocurrency-related money laundering presents significant challenges for businesses attempting to combat financial crime.

“It is clear that current practices only partially address this threat, and that keeping pace with evolving money laundering techniques presents a significant challenge,” said Milan.

“Businesses need to find effective ways of staying up to date with regulatory guidance, and continue to develop new processes to stay compliant.”

This article was developed in collaboration with First AML, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.  

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.