Bitcoin is not really being used in money laundering operations. And considering the fact every transaction is recorded on the blockchain, thereby visible to all, the cryptocurrency is not expected to grow in popularity for this purpose either.
This is one of the conclusions of a report that was recently published by the Crypto Council for Innovation. This new lobbying group was announced last week and is hoping to inform and influence regulatory actions affecting the cryptocurrency space. The report was produced by former Central Intelligence Agency Acting Director Michael Morell and is the council’s first attempt to make an impact.
“As more seizures and arrests are made, we believe illicit actors – who are technology agnostic – will continue to move away from using Bitcoin for money laundering purposes to other avenues that make it easier for them to hide their activities,” the report said.
Moving the needle
The Crypto Council for Innovation has its eyes on “moving the needle” in governments’ stances toward crypto regulation, according to Gus Coldebella, Chief Policy Officer at Paradigm and one of the heads of the new organization.
“We have a lot of policy makers who are becoming aware of crypto and at the same time might harbor some misconceptions about it,” said Coldebella. The Council was formed by important players in the financial industry. Among them are Fidelity Investments, Square Inc, Coinbase and Paradigm.
The future of the crypto industry remains far from settled. Advocates have argued that cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology that supports them have the potential to create jobs and extend financial services to consumers everywhere. This all at little or no cost. However, this does require the involvement of policy makers and regulators around the world who play a critical role in shaping the path forward.
Crypto is as you know inherently borderless and it makes sense not just to address the policymakers in one country or one region, but across the world and if we are to be successful we should be doing those things, the education piece and the iterating with policymakers piece in a global, coordinated way,” Coldebella said.
The former CIA Director Morell was hired to produce the report through his consulting firm Beacon Global Strategies. His main interest was to find out if the going narrative – that Bitcoin is a major tool for money launderers – was accurate.
Let’s be real
According to Morell, (regulatory) actions should be based on facts. He said that the amount of attention given to Bitcoin should be based on actual illicit activities related to Bitcoin. It should not just following a false narrative. As an example, he mentioned the possible national security issue, which China developing its own sovereign digital currency can pose.
“If we needed to be concerned about illicit finance and bitcoin, by all means let’s focus on that but if conventional wisdom is not that accurate, we should be going full steam ahead on competing,” the report said.
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