The last two days, March 6 and 7, more than 200 people from all around the world were meeting in The Hague at Europol’s headquarters to learn, share, network and discuss criminal finances and cryptocurrencies.
As a part of a tri-party group, consisting of Europol, INTERPOL and the Basel Institute on Governance, Europol is hosting the 3rd global conference, looking to develop a network of practitioners from both the private and public sectors.
An initiative of the Working Group on cryptocurrencies and money laundering established in 2016 by Europol, INTERPOL and the Basel Institute on Governance, this conference focused on discussing the vulnerabilities and threats in cryptocurrencies leading to their misuse for money laundering and terrorism financing purposes. The event zeroed down not only on the threats but also on the innovations, solutions, tools, and building coalitions to combat these threats.—Press release
While the second day is dedicated to the public sector only, the first day was open by invitation to private sector representatives from cryptocurrency brokerages, exchanges, analytics companies and more, with a packed agenda covering everything from KYC/AML and updates on regulations to case studies and practical experience from investigations and cooperations between the private and public sector.
Even though a broad array of speakers talked from different experience and locations, some topics were repeating, such as the use of cryptocurrency ATMs for money laundering and tax evasion, peer-to-peer markets, dark web markets and opaqueness of privacy coins.
There are many challenges in investigating financial crimes and cryptocurrencies, as not only does it break the borders of countries, it also requires a multidisciplinary approach that needs cooperation between sectors.
The event was closed by Europol’s Deputy Executive Director Operations, Wil van Gemert, who urged the participants to be bold and proactive, to build coalitions and become the respected gatekeepers ensuring an environment in which crime does not pay.—Press release
During day one, presentations were given by representatives from, amongst others, Elliptic, MME, Bitnovo, Bitpay, Ciphertrace, Chainalysis, FATF and the Luxembourg FIU.
Author: Thomas Silkjær