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Yazmin Erarslan
Jul 28, 2021
In Business Forum
April 2021 saw Bitcoin reach an all-time high as thousands of investors dumped their savings into cryptocurrency via exchange sites like Coinbase. For those of us currently working in the AML field, we know some of the compliance concerns associated with cryptocurrency, among them the anonymity of transactions. Below we will discuss concerns of cryptocurrency, fact check assumptions, and discuss laws and regulations pertaining to the exchange and use of cryptocurrency and other virtual asset service providers (VASPs). Cryptocurrency Concerns Cryptocurrency is a new and popular financial market and while regulatory measures are still being developed, the rapid growth of cryptocurrency makes it more vulnerable to money laundering risks than other, more established financial systems. According to a blog on Sanction Scanner, crypto exchanges carry risks brought by technology and some fraud risks. Common concerns include the anonymity of transactions, security vulnerabilities, malicious software, and the use of illegal goods and services to pay for terrorist finances. Money launderers avoid heavy bank regulations by converting illegally obtained money into crypto money. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) published a 2020 report aiming to help cryptocurrency wallet and exchange companies develop AML programs utilizing the following indicators; technological features that increase anonymity, geographical risks, transaction sizes and patterns, sender or recipient profiles, and source of funds. To read more about cryptocurrency risks and AML red flags, view the full blog article at the following link. https://sanctionscanner.com/blog/examining-the-aml-risks-and-red-flags-of-crypto-exchanges-258 Fact Check How common is money laundering and criminal activity among cryptocurrency transactions? Due to the relative youth of the crypto system and the anonymity associated with transactions, it can be difficult to accurately assess just how common crypto-crime is. According to an article posted to The Coinbase Blog on May 6th, 2021, illicit activity accounts for less than 1% of all cryptocurrency transactions. The majority of those illicit transactions are related to scams as opposed to money laundering, terrorist financing, trafficking, and other criminal activity. A commonly held assumption by crypto-skeptics is that more illegal activity takes place using cryptocurrency than cash. The blog found that cash is still the most common monetary instrument utilized in illegal activity as a UN estimate found that an estimated $1.6 trillion in cash is laundered every year. As cryptocurrency ages and compliance issues continue to be addressed, the criminal activity in cryptocurrency appears to be decreasing from an estimated 2.1% of transactions in 2019, to less than half a percent in 2020. Also, regarding the ease with which illicit activity can be investigated, blockchains already exist for the majority of transactions. Data recorded in the blockchain cannot be altered retroactively. For the full post see the link below. https://blog.coinbase.com/fact-check-crypto-is-increasingly-being-used-for-criminal-activity-and-is-a-haven-for-illicit-856a71dfb399 Laws and Regulations Cryptocurrency gained popularity very quickly, and legislation has struggled to keep up. According to a blog article on Ballard Spahr LLP, in June 2019 the FATF issued guidance instructing governments to demand that VASPs collect originator information and required beneficiary information on transactions totaling $1,000 or more and agreed to take a yearlong review documenting the progress that its member countries made implementing its guidance. The findings of that review were released in July 2020 and the FATF agreed to a subsequent 12-month review by June 2021. The review found that many countries are failing to implement FATF guidance for virtual assets, undermining international AML and combating the CFT efforts. The Travel Rule compliance is still fragmented and uneven across the private sector. The Travel Rule requires financial institutions to pass on certain customer and transaction information to the next financial institution. The review also found, contrary to the article cited above, that the use of virtual assets for money laundering is on the rise and likely to grow in 2021. They found that there has been an increase in the use of virtual assets to collect ransomware payments, the most prevalent types of offenses are narcotics-related and fraud offenses, and that tools to increase anonymity in transfers are continuing to be used and developed. View the full article below. https://www.moneylaunderingnews.com/2021/07/fatf-continues-to-stress-aml-risks-from-virtual-asset-service-providers/#more-7086
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Yazmin Erarslan
Jul 28, 2021
In Business Forum
The terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001 changed the AML regulations provided by the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 into the sophisticated AML/CFT regulations we know today. Today, following the January 6th, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, domestic terrorism has become a priority for AML/CFT regulatory legislation and compliance. According to a Bloomberg Law article published on July 27th, 2021, the 2020 National Strategy for Combating Terrorist and Other Illicit Financing identified domestic terrorist activity as an increasingly pertinent threat. Following the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, 2021, the White House and the National Security Council brought forth the National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism on June 15th, 2021. The goals of the strategy consist of the Treasury Department, "enhancing engagement with financial institutions on domestic terrorist financing, including through existing provisions of the Bank Secrecy Act." (Strategic Goal 1.3). On June 30th, 2021, FinCEN brought forth its AML/CFT National Priorities, discussing domestic and international terrorism equally, and stated domestic terrorist financing to be a key priority for BSA regulation and compliance. The National Priorities specifically referencing the threat of domestic violent extremists. For the full article, see the link below. https://news.bloomberglaw.com/bloomberg-law-analysis/analysis-domestic-violent-extremists-rise-as-aml-cft-priority According to an article published by the Guardian on April 10th 2021, the Proud Boys and other far-right groups raised millions via a Christian funding site. GiveSendGo is a crowdfunding Christian site where millions of dollars have been raised for far-right causes and groups. A data breach identified high-dollar donors to far-right actors who had previously enjoyed anonymity. Some important beneficiaries have been member of the Proud Boys, many of whose fundraising efforts directly affected the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. For the full article, see the link below. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/10/proud-boys-far-right-givesendgo-christian-fundraising-site
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Yazmin Erarslan
Aug 19, 2020
In Business Forum
This is your forum post. Forums are a great way to engage your audience in all types of discussions. Post relevant information to encourage engagement and collaboration. With full freedom to edit posts and add stunning media, managing your forum has never been easier. Make sure you’re on preview mode or on your live published site to modify your forum. You can edit and add new posts, and use categories to organize them by topic. Manage categories from preview mode, and add as many as you like to get the conversation started.
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Yazmin Erarslan
Aug 19, 2020
In Business Forum
As the forum owner, you can assign new moderators from your live site. Having moderators is a great way to increase engagement and grow your community. There are certain actions that only forum owners and moderators are allowed to do on Wix Forum. They can block users, move posts from one category to another, and delete posts.
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Yazmin Erarslan
Aug 19, 2020
In Business Forum
Your forum comes with a Member’s Area, which site visitors can use to get to know each other and personalize their profile pages. Members can also add new posts, write comments, and like posts. When visitors sign up as members, they can join conversations, follow posts, upload media, leave comments, and be notified of any new activity in discussions they’re following. Site owners can use Wix Chat to speak to both site members and visitors directly.
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Yazmin Erarslan
Aug 19, 2020
In Business Forum
This is your forum post. Forums are a great way to engage your audience in all types of discussions. Post relevant information to encourage engagement and collaboration. With full freedom to edit posts and add stunning media, managing your forum has never been easier. Make sure you’re on preview mode or on your live published site to modify your forum. You can edit and add new posts, and use categories to organize them by topic. Manage categories from preview mode, and add as many as you like to get the conversation started.
Building a better workspace content media
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Yazmin Erarslan

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