Europol and Interpol Join Forces to Fight Bitcoin Money Laundering

News and Analysis

EU authorities announced plans to create a working group at Europol to deal with digital currency laundering operations.

The group’s day-to-day operations will be led by Europol, INTERPOL, and the Basel Institute on Governance.

The working group will aim to:

  • gather, analyse, and exchange non-operational information regarding the use of digital currencies as a means of money laundering, and the investigation and recovery of proceeds of crime stored in the same form;
  • organise annual workshops and meetings for the representatives of the above mentioned Law Enforcement Agencies and institutions to increase the capacity to successfully investigate crimes in which virtual currencies are involved;
  • create a network of practitioners and experts in this field, who can collectively establish best practices and provide assistance and recommendations inside and outside the working group.

This new working group is an addition to the EU’s growing presence in the crypto-currency market, which the EU regulatory bodies want to keep in check. Also toward the end of July, the European Commission proposed the creation of a database that would store data about a user’s real identity and their wallet address.

Interpol’s involvement also means that, at some point, non-EU states would be able to tap into the database when needed.

European authorities insist such measures are needed to eliminate the threat of money laundering operations that help feed terrorism financing. Notably, up until now there are no reports clearly stating that terrorist groups like ISIS or Daesh use cryptocurrecnies on a regular basis to move funds.


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