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Do you think bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies make money laundering easier?
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Oh my god no.

Bitcoin is one of the hardest ways to launder money... it's all on a public blockchain, you'd have to be crazy to try and launder money that way.

By far the easiest way to launder money is to use straight cash.  

You take the cash and you buy chips at a casino, and then later cash those chips out for different cash.  If you've got a lot of money to launder, you can purchase something like cars or a construction project.  Lots of construction workers still get paid in cash, so if you've got time, you can buy some land, build a house, pay everyone in cash and then sell the land/property - and you've got your clean money.

Bitcoin on the other hand is a super annoying way to launder money.  First you have to find someone that is willing to accept cash for Bitcoin.  Who does that?  I've bought Bitcoin using my bank account, but launderers don't have that luxury.  Instead you have to find someone who has Bitcoin, and is willing to trade it for your dirty money.  That step might almost be impossible.  Then you can send it anywhere, but you'll still have a problem at the other end when you try and sell it for cash.

Add to that the chances that Bitcoin could drop in value while you're transacting, and now you're losing money.

Bitcoin is easily one of the worst ways to launder money.  Cash is by far the easiest.

There are anonymous/privacy coins like Monero... but it's more volatile, there are less people involved, the market is smaller and  therefore it'll be even harder to find someone willing to exchange Monero for your dirty cash.

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3 Comments

 

I think the answer to this will depend on which part of the world you reside. Using cryptocurrency to launder money might not be that easy in advanced countries with functional and effective checks and balances in the area of financial transactions. Although these checks and balances are not fool-proof, they go a long way in mitigating against money laundry.

However, in developing countries where majority of the leaders are corrupt and guilty of money laundering even before the advent of blockchain technology, it might be totally easy. Even though some claim that cryptocurrency wallet owners are not totally anonymous as most wallet or exchanges require KYC before using them, I would not believe such 100%. It is quite easy to sign up under fake identities and even crypto exchanges would hardly release information of her users ordinarily. I have heard stories of politicians in my country buying bitcoins using bags of fiats and such BTC would not carry their names.

Hence, cryptocurrency makes laundering easier depending on which part of the world you re coming from.

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Yes, because Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are uncensorable and extremely portable and because there exist anonymous ways of buying and selling them. But with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with a completely public ledger, it should be approached with great care. Privacy coins such as Monero are a much better choice as those coins are the actual electronic equivalent cash. Bitcoin is not fungible as in not every bitcoin is indistinguishable from every other bitcoin. Cash is still the most widely used method of value transfer used in money laundering. But cryptocurrencies are and additional method that can help in some way in laundering money. They are not a game changer by any means making it radically easier to launder money but.

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Maybe in the initial few years but nowadays it would be worst option to do money laundering , check this out :

 

Chainalysis provides a software solution for forensic analysis that help law enforcement agencies track the movement of bitcoin. Chainalysis uses statistical techniques to identify when given transactions are likely to be tied to criminal activity. As of early 2018 the company plans to extend its forensic analysis from Bitcoin to at least 10 other major cryptocurrencies.

Among the customers are law enforcement agencies, banks and financial service companies.

https://www.chainalysis.com/

They already know who you are , not even needed to see your licence or KYC.

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