Cryptocurrency’s Unintended Role in Organized Crime

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In recent years, cryptocurrency has made an undeniable mark on the global financial landscape. However, its rise has brought an unintended consequence – a surge in its use in organized crime activities. According to a report by The Financial Times, they have now become deeply entwined in the underworld.

The extent of its involvement in unlawful endeavors is vast and disconcerting. London’s Metropolitan Police have highlighted its use in various criminal activities, spanning from drug trafficking to illegal arms trade and even human trafficking. The recent closure of over 100 accounts in Israel due to their suspected ties to terrorist activities further underscores the sector’s susceptibility to criminal involvement.

As evidence continues to mount, regulatory bodies in the US, UK, and the EMEA region have begun to pay closer attention, recognizing the emerging use of crypto in these illegal fields and the need for stricter oversight.

The Intersection of Cryptocurrency and Regulation

Regulators have taken legal action against prominent exchanges like Binance in the United States this year. Meanwhile, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) unveiled its plans in February to regulate to standards closely aligned with traditional financial assets, such as stocks and bonds. This includes the potential for substantial fines and prison sentences for unapproved product promotion. Since these regulations were enacted, the FCA has issued over 150 alerts regarding unauthorized promotions.

This strict regulatory environment prompted Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, to announce that it would no longer accept new customers from the UK. It has taken steps to cancel its regulatory permissions in the UK. This decision aligns with Binance’s strategy to focus on fewer European markets amid increased regulatory scrutiny caused by Europe’s new rules.

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Our Insights into Identity Fraud

At AU10TIX, we have been diligently monitoring the landscape of identity fraud. Our recent findings offer valuable insights into the alarming trend of identity fraud attacks associated with the cryptocurrency and trading sector.

We recently released a report shedding light on the geographical regions, industry sectors, and identity modes experiencing the highest identity fraud attack rates. This data reveals which markets are most vulnerable to professional fraudsters and the methods they employ to infiltrate. Among the sectors we scrutinized, cryptocurrency and trading are the most highly targeted, accounting for 47% of the attacks detected by AU10TIX in Q2. These industries appeal to professional fraudsters due to their perceived high-profit prospects and inherent anonymity. Remarkably, the rise in related crime remains unaffected by fluctuations in the prices of digital coins, as criminals are more concerned with the transactions’ anonymity and functionality rather than the specific value of the coins they use.

The Future of Cryptocurrency and Organized Crime

As it continues to gain prominence in finance, the risk of its exploitation by criminals becomes increasingly apparent. AU10TIX stands at the forefront of the battle against cryptocurrency-related crime. Our efforts to detect and prevent illicit activities in the digital assets sector are vital in maintaining the integrity of the financial industry.

The connection is a pressing concern that demands immediate attention and action. While the digital assets sector continues evolving, regulators and law enforcement agencies must collaborate to balance innovation and security. The criminal exploitation, driven by its perceived anonymity, underscores the significance of robust identity verification solutions in addressing this threat.

Take Action with AU10TIX

At AU10TIX, we play a pivotal role in addressing the rising threat of identity fraud. Our unique capability to monitor serial fraud activity makes us the only identity verification solution capable of detecting and analyzing coordinated fraud attacks at the incoming traffic level, a capability unmatched by our competitors. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help protect your organization from the growing threat of fraud.

Want to learn more about identity fraud and organized crime?

Download the report today to get actionable insights on what’s trending now.

Sources:

Cryptocurrencies play ‘endemic role’ in organised crime, says Met Police (ft.com)

SEC crypto crackdown: US regulator sues Binance and Coinbase | Cryptocurrencies | The Guardian

Binance Unit in Britain Cancels UK Regulatory Authorization – Exchanges Bitcoin News

Binance to Halt New UK Customers From Using Crypto Exchange – Bloomberg

Spotlight on Hidden Geographic and Industry Trends: Q2 2023 Global Identity Fraud Report – AU10TIX

Binance Unit in Britain Cancels UK Regulatory Authorization – Exchanges Bitcoin News

Binance to Halt New UK Customers From Using Crypto Exchange – Bloomberg

 

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