Around 2,000 experts from the public and private sectors joined forces this week in a virtual conference designed to promote information sharing in the cryptocurrency space and the fight against money laundering.
Participants logged into the Fifth Global Conference on Criminal Finance and Cryptocurrencies, organized by the Basel Institute of Governance, Interpol, and Europol.
They came together to share their experience on current trends, strategies, and tactics to tackle crimes involving virtual assets, such as money laundering, cryptocurrency fraud, and cryptojacking. The second day was limited to those of the forces of order and certain representatives of the public sector.
Europol argued that close cooperation between governments, law enforcement agencies, regulators and the private sector is vital in tackling crypto-enabled crimes.
“This kind of knowledge sharing between the public and private sectors, as well as between law enforcement representatives in different countries and institutions, is crucial in global efforts to protect the virtual asset industry from malicious actors,” he explained.
“It also helps foster the multidisciplinary approach that is essential to tackle virtual asset-based money laundering and related crimes, by bringing together expertise in technology, financial investigation and asset recovery.”
Specific recommendations crystallized from these conversations will emerge in the coming days.
However, they will likely fall into areas such as: international and public-private cooperation; recovery of virtual assets; harmonized regulations; capacity building; research techniques and technologies; and the use of specialized police units.
Cryptocurrency remains an important target for financially motivated threat actors and a means of laundering the proceeds of cybercrime.
The United States Treasury has been imposing sanctions on certain Russian cryptocurrency exchanges, to send a message that such activity will not go unpunished.
Money laundering is said to be worth trillions of dollars a year, with sporadic law enforcement actions, such as the 1800 arrests earlier this month, doing little to stem the tide.