Cryptocurrency-related money laundering is a growing threat, according to recent data uncovered by anti-money laundering (AML) startup First AML.
The First AML survey of 250 UK business leaders working in compliance, found that 70 per cent of respondents are worried about the growing threat of money laundering using cryptocurrency in business. It also revealed that 41 per cent of companies have identified instances of money laundering related to cryptocurrencies.
Fifty-three per cent of respondents believe that current practices only partially address the threat of crypto-related money laundering. Thirty per cent said keeping pace with evolving money laundering techniques is most significant when combatting cryptocurrency-related money laundering.
The AML startup’s survey also found that a majority (78 per cent) of business leaders believe that their company can improve its AML compliance. This indicates the need for businesses to prioritise their AML processes. Over half (51 per cent) of businesses have experienced fines or penalties due to AML non-compliance, and a large majority (85 per cent) of those businesses report that these penalties had a negative impact on their operations.
Importance of improving AML processes
Additional challenges found by the First AML survey included difficulty in identifying and tracking suspicious actors (27 per cent) and a lack of clear regulatory guidance (17 per cent). The findings of the survey provide important insights for businesses and individuals working in compliance to improve their AML processes and combat the growing threat of cryptocurrency-related money laundering.
Bion Behdin, chief revenue officer at First AML, explained the significance of the emerging threat. Behdin 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, as well as continue to develop new processes to stay compliant”