The number of suspicious crypto payments in Japan has increased tenfold in the past year. This is the latest money laundering report by the Japanese police. However, despite the rapid increase, crypto transactions are only a fraction of the money laundering suspicions. The majority of unregistered funds continues to change hands in cash.
Fraud, theft, drug trafficking – the anonymity of cryptocurrencies has always attracted criminals who want to disguise their financial activities. This potential of Bitcoin & Co. seems to have been recognized by Japanese money launderers these days: As reported by the local newspaper Japan Times this Thursday, February 28, the number of suspicious crypto transactions in the East Asian islands over the past twelve years has been negative Months increased tenfold.
After Japan’s plague of hacking and digital bank robberies in recent years, the relevant authorities had obliged the Japanese exchanges in April 2017 to list all transactions and report suspicious payments.
Now the police report for 2018 on more than 7,000 cases of suspected money laundering in connection with cryptocurrencies. This is more than 6,300 suspected cases more than the year before. Between April and December 2017, the Japanese police recorded 669 suspicious crypto payments.
On the track, the officials lured in the past year, among other things, that many accounts used the same profile photos. Furthermore, a large number of accounts would be managed from abroad despite Japanese registration, the report said
The answer from the Japanese authorities: expert training and AI
Despite the dramatic increase, the authorities are not very worried about the crypto sector. Because a large part of possibly illegally circulating money changed in 2018 still in cash the owner.
For example, the authorities reported a total of 417,465 alleged cases of money laundering in 2018, most of them in the area of banking and financial fraud. Crypto payments, on the other hand, accounted for only a fraction of these cases, at around 1.7 percent.
To counter the trend, the Japanese authorities now want to hire not only data specialists. In addition, Artificial Intelligence is to come into play, reports the Japan Times. So one wants to make sure to recognize the payment pattern of illegal business early and to avoid another money laundering boom.