A high-ranking official from the United Nations has opined that cryptocurrencies are having the resultant effect of making efforts, reaching to international levels, challenging in terms of combating terrorism financing, money laundering, and cyber-crimes. Neil Walsh, who is the chief of the cybercrime and anti-money laundering arm of the United Nations office of drugs and crime, has said that the anonymity and pseudo-anonymity that comes with cryptocurrencies and the crypto industry has provided a “new layer of secrecy that works in favor of criminals.”
He made these sentiments when making an address to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Linda Mottram. Walsh also moved to highlight concerns and worries as regards the role that cryptocurrencies are assuming in the clandestine Industry of child trafficking.
He is quoted as to say “in the past when we looked at some of the substantial high-threat areas like kids getting abused online, it had to be paid for and now with the use of cryptocurrencies, it is exceptionally difficult for investigators to track that and try and manage that risk down. “
Walsh takes note that, in the recent past and with the advent of the crypto industry and the cryptocurrency, the trade and Industry of child trafficking have made a number of evolutions to mask and disguise its conduct. He says that the business is as of current running on cryptocurrency and that “child abusers are successful when they can create secrecy.”
He also goes ahead to say that “when you add a layer of secrecy that is encrypted and anonymous or pseudo-anonymous, then it makes it very difficult for investigators to counter that challenge, and also it really makes it easier for the bad guys to do what they do and that creates risks especially for our children. “
In June of this year, FATF, which is the intergovernmental organization geared toward dealing with money laundering and the financing of terrorist activities made finalizations to its recommendations on the regulation of cryptocurrencies reaching out to its 37-member countries. The recommendations come with an important rule that virtual asset providers VASPs, should enact the travel rule.
Following this rule, exchanges and wallet providers will be obligated to have know-your-customer information that runs, not only for their own users but the users of such wallets or exchange accounts that the funds are sent to.
Walsh has also said that “we are still waiting to see how that plays out” adding that the United Nations has made strategies to bring together legislators and professionals in a bid to find the way forward and the best procedure to regulate the space in order to combat child trafficking.