Europol Outlines How Crypto Can Help Fight Crime
- Europol believes crypto policies can help combat the use of the industry for criminal purposes.
The use of cryptocurrency and blockchain by criminals and organized crime has recently surged. However, the European Police, Europol, believes crypto could be a tool to fight criminal activities. During the 6th Global Conference on Criminal Finances and Cryptocurrencies, attended by financial investigators and crypto experts, security personnel admitted that blockchain had slipped into every industry and has the potential to facilitate crime.
The security events featured top speakers from European regulators, security experts, and representatives from blockchain platforms and companies such as Binance, TRM Labs, Chainalysis, and, CypherTrace. According to them, crimes involving crypto in recent months include drug trafficking, sports match-fixing, and financing the production, purchase, possession, and export of weapons systems.
Furthermore, there is a rise in the number of skilled money launderers who use the possibilities offered by digital assets to conceal the earnings of both traditional and online crimes. Speaking on the extent of digital crimes, Gary Cathcart, chief of financial investigation at the National Crime Agency (NCA) in the United Kingdom, said:
Parts of the Bitcoin infrastructure are being exploited to launder illegal funds, especially from drug trafficking… the escalating threat of ransomware employs bitcoins as a payment mechanism.
However, despite these opinions and concerns, Europol believes crypto can potentially be a great security tool. The organization is positive that blockchain, the underlying technology behind cryptocurrencies, and its features can improve crime prevention efforts. Thanks to the transparent nature of blockchain technology, regulators and law enforcement agents can have unrestricted access to a person’s or organization’s finances.
Speaking of how crypto can aid the investigation, Europol said,
Yet with the right tools, capacity and cooperation, the unique characteristics of blockchain-based technologies offer an unprecedented opportunity to investigate organised crime and money laundering networks and to recover stolen funds.
Europol has developed ways to track transactions involving Bitcoin and Ethereum. The law enforcement organization has been heavily involved in the crypto industry and is optimistic that a huge feat can be accomplished with collaboration.
Europol noted that all parties participating in the fight against crime, including the government, industry, and law enforcement, are working hard to remain ahead of people who exploit crypto assets to perpetrate crimes and launder money. New European legislation is also expected to ensure that crypto assets are regarded like any other assets for the purposes of anti-money laundering regulation and oversight.