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On January 16-18 in Doha, Qatar, a large group of representatives from the Basel Institute on Governance, Europol, Interpol, and authorities from Qatar met to discuss money laundering and digital currencies. The event, filled with investigators from all around the world, focused on ideas on how to tackle regulatory concerns tied to these emerging technologies.
Qatar Authorities Host Cybercrime Event Dedicated to Researching and Regulating Virtual Currencies
Just recently, a global conference was held in the Persian Gulf region consisting of various sectors of law enforcement and cybercrime investigators from many different countries. The Basel Institute on Governance details that hundreds of executives and authorities shared concerns in regards to digital currency payments used for organized crime and money laundering. The event was organized to help law enforcement worldwide learn the tools and techniques aimed at eliminating these illicit activities.
The anti-crime focused conference resulted in many recommendations concerning bettering the playing field for investigators. Some of the most notable proposals explained that all countries should share data within this new technological environment. Additionally, “special attention should be given to the international exchange of suspicious bitcoin addresses that threaten economic stability,” explains the agency’s press release. Furthermore, the world’s law enforcement partners should increase training by starting more initiatives, and particular attention needs to be given to existing regulatory agencies.
The Basel Institute states the main reason behind the global regulation conference in Qatar as:
There is a clear consensus that digital currencies pose a money laundering and terrorism financing threat. A small number of cases have already shown law enforcement agencies that money laundering and terrorism financing can easily take place inside virtual environments, offering high levels of anonymity and low levels of detection removing many of the risks associated with real-world money laundering and terrorism financing activities.
Taking Action Against Cryptocurrency Anonymity Methods
The Basel Institute on Governance is a nonprofit think-tank and a subsidiary of the University of Basel aimed at countering financial corruption. The organization says the digital payments-focused conference was initiated by the partnership formed between Europol and Interpol, and was wholly funded by Qatar authorities. The global entities believe that when it comes to researching digital currency technology, international standards must be addressed.
Alongside this, all the world’s regulators should be preparing policies for operators in the cryptocurrency industry. This includes the regulation of exchanges and wallet providers utilizing existing AML/KYC procedures as well as counter-terrorism financing legislation. One interesting takeaway from the conference’s recommendations is the group’s thoughts on anonymity platforms. The Basel Institute’s press statement explains:
All countries are advised to take action against digital currency mixers/tumblers. Such services are designed exclusively to anonymize transactions and to make it impossible for law enforcement agencies to detect and trace suspicious transactions. The existence of such companies should not continue to be tolerated.
Regulators Will Continue to Pursue Digital Currency Tracking and Legislative Framework
The conference held in Qatar shows that global authorities and regulators want to get more serious about virtual currency usage. In fact, Europol is already working with blockchain tracking software companies such as Elliptic and Chainalysis in various criminal cases. The event’s proposals detail how global law enforcement needs to pay particular attention to the growth of “unexplained wealth.” The recommendations for tackling digital currency regulations and the conference itself was established this past September. The Basel Institute on Governance states that this event is in line with another international working group focused on similar modern payment regulations and legislation.
What do you think about the Basel Institute on Governance, Europol, and Interpol’s latest initiative towards virtual currency regulation? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of the Basel Institute and Shutterstock.
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