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Escalating menace of cryptocurrency-enabled money laundering

Recent data has shed light on the growing threat of cryptocurrency-related money laundering.

EBA response to Commission's proposal on virtual currency and AML directive

Cryptocurrency-enabled money laundering

The survey by First AML, which gathered responses from 250 UK business leaders and individuals working in compliance, found that 70% of individuals working in compliance are worried about the growing threat of money laundering via cryptocurrencies in business.

The survey also revealed that a significant portion (41%) of companies have identified instances of money laundering related to cryptocurrencies, and more than half (53%) of respondents believe that current practices only partially address this threat.

According to the data, keeping pace with evolving laundering techniques (30%) is the most significant when combatting cryptocurrency-related money laundering.

AML improvements needed

Furthermore, the survey found that a majority (78%) of business leaders believe that their company’s AML compliance can be improved, indicating the need for businesses to prioritise their AML processes.

Over half (51%) of businesses have experienced fines or penalties due to AML non-compliance, and a large majority (85%) of those businesses report that these penalties had a negative impact on their operations.

Additional challenges found in the survey include difficulty in identifying and tracking suspicious actors (27%) and a lack of clear regulatory guidance (17%).

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 laundering.

“The emergence of cryptocurrency-related money laundering presents significant challenges for businesses attempting to combat financial crime,” comments Bion Behdin, Chief Revenue Officer at First AML.

“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, and continue to develop new processes to stay compliant.”


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