Compliance professionals fear cryptocurrency’s hidden menace

protesters sit on top of washing machines full of moneyAnti Money Laundering

Nearly seven in ten compliance professionals say they are worried about the growing threat of money laundering via cryptocurrencies in business. And more than half believe that current practices only partially address what they see as a menace.

These were finding from researchers who gathered responses from 250 UK business leaders and individuals working in compliance.

They were released as members of the start-up First AML staged a publicity stunt outside the Bank of England last month to to demonstrate the amount of money laundered in the UK every six minutes.

The survey also revealed that four in ten companies have identified instances of money laundering related to cryptocurrencies. But significantly, a majority believe that their company’s AML compliance can be improved, indicating the need for businesses to prioritise their AML processes.

Over half have experienced fines or penalties due to AML non-compliance, and a large majority of those businesses report that these penalties had a negative impact on their operations.

Additional challenges found in the survey by the anti-laundering startup First AML include difficulty in identifying and tracking suspicious actors and a lack of clear regulatory guidance.

Bion Behdin, Chief Revenue Officer at First AML, 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. Businesses need to find effective ways of staying up to date with regulatory guidance, and continue to develop new processes to stay compliant.”

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