Sirwin
Sirwin

Are Cryptocurrencies A Money Launderer's Paradise? A Personal Opinion.


Money laundering is an illicit activity that consists of hiding the origin of funds obtained illegally through the exercise of criminal activities, such as drug trafficking, corruption, terrorism, tax evasion, among others. It is estimated that approximately 8% of the world's gross domestic product is dirty money, which is equivalent to more than 7 trillion dollars. This money moves around the world through various mechanisms, such as tax havens, shell companies, bank transfers or cash. The goal of money launderers is to make these funds appear to come from legitimate sources, so they can use them without raising suspicion or facing legal consequences.

Money laundering activity typically involves three stages: placement, concealment and integration. In the first stage, criminals introduce cash or illicit assets into the financial system, for example by depositing them in banks, purchasing assets, exchanging currencies or using remittance services. In the second stage, criminals try to hide the trace and origin of the funds, through multiple financial transactions, such as transfers, loans, investments, sales, etc. In the third stage, criminals reintegrate the funds into the legal economy, pretending that they come from legal activities, such as businesses, donations, inheritances, etc.

Furthermore, money laundering has serious consequences for society, the economy and the rule of law, since it facilitates the perpetuation of crimes, affects fair competition, distorts markets, erodes trust in institutions and finances terrorism and violence. For this reason, there is growing concern and international cooperation to prevent and combat money laundering, through the adoption of standards, mechanisms and specialized organizations that supervise, investigate and sanction this activity.

But what role do cryptocurrencies play in this phenomenon? Are digital currencies the preferred means of criminals to launder their profits? Or are cryptocurrencies a more transparent, secure and efficient alternative to traditional money? Cryptocurrencies have often been associated with money laundering, due to their digital, decentralized and anonymous nature. It has been claimed that cryptocurrencies are the ideal instrument for money launderers, as they allow them to move their funds without leaving a trace, without depending on intermediaries and without having to comply with regulations. However, this view is erroneous and biased, as it ignores the features and benefits of cryptocurrencies, and unfairly compares them to fiat money, which is the real culprit of money laundering.

Let's look at some data that shows that cryptocurrencies are not the problem, but the solution:

πŸ“Œ According to a report I read some time ago from Chainalysis, a blockchain analysis company, cryptocurrency money laundering amounted to $8.6 billion in 2021, which is 30% more than in 2020. However, this This figure pales in comparison to fiat money laundering, which is estimated at more than $2 trillion a year. That is, cryptocurrency money laundering represents less than 0.5% of global money laundering.

πŸ“Œ Contrary to what many believe, money laundering with cryptocurrencies is not as easy as it seems. Unlike fiat money, which can be hidden or carried in cash, cryptocurrencies leave a public, immutable record of all transactions on the blockchain, allowing the origin and destination of funds to be traced. For this reason, many criminals turn to money laundering services, such as mixers or exchanges, which charge commissions and increase the risk of being discovered.

πŸ“Œ On the other hand, cryptocurrencies offer a series of advantages that make them more attractive than fiat money for honest users, among which are:

  • Decentralization: they do not depend on any central authority, such as banks or governments, which can manipulate the value of money, impose restrictions or confiscate funds. Each user is the owner of their money and can send or receive it anywhere in the world, without intermediaries or censorship.
  • Low costs: they allow faster and cheaper transactions than fiat money, thanks to blockchain technology, which eliminates intermediaries and reduces operating costs. This is especially useful for people living in countries with unstable economies, inflation, or difficulties accessing financial services.
  • Confidentiality: they offer a higher degree of privacy than fiat money, since they do not require personal data to carry out transactions. In addition, there are cryptocurrencies that are completely anonymous, such as Monero or Zcash, which use advanced encryption techniques to hide the identity of users and the amount of transactions.
  • Innovation: they are a technological innovation that opens a world of possibilities for the development of new services and applications. For example, cryptocurrencies allow you to create smart contracts, which are self-executing agreements that are fulfilled automatically and transparently. They also allow you to create tokens, which are digital assets that represent anything from stocks to works of art.

We cannot deny that cryptocurrencies have their risks and challenges, such as volatility, security or regulation. But we also cannot ignore its benefits and opportunities, which far exceed those of fiat money. Dismantling the myths and fallacies that have been spread about them is one of the ways to educate, promote globalization and adoption. They are not a paradise for money launderers, but a tool that can improve the lives of people and society. Cryptocurrencies are not the problem, but the solution, they are the future, not the past. They are a revolution that is here to stay and that will change the financial and social world forever.


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CryptoEntrepreneurs
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Trader, entrepreneur, freelancer, enthusiast and promoter of globalization, adoption and understanding of cryptocurrencies and new information and communication technologies (ICTs)


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β€œEveryone has their own forms of expression. I think we all have a lot to say, but finding ways to say it is more than half the battle." Criss Jami (existentialist philosopher, poet, essayist, musician, singer, designer and lyricist). | "Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth". Marcus Aurelius (Roman Emperor).

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