Crypto-related financial crime topped $14B in 2021


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Crypto-related crime surges as mainstream investors join fray

If you’ve cringed at the ‘don’t let this be you’ Matt Damon advertisement warning TV watchers not to sleep on crypto investments, you’re in good company. Celebrities from various fields are part of the push to get ‘average’ people investing immediately in instruments they likely do not understand. And that push to leap before you look has helped drive billions in financial-crime proceeds related to crypto theft and scams.

Blockchain analysts Chainalysis announced that financial crime related to crypto investments topped $14 billion in 2021–the highest number ever for the burgeoning industry.

While that $14B is only a small percentage of the total traded, regulators fear that it will get worse and worse in the largely unregulated crypto industry.  Compliance regulators in the US, Europe, and around the globe have been calling for greater authority and clarity in regulation of crypto deals in order to stem money laundering and financial crime.

In addition to straight-up theft, crypto currencies have become a favored mode for ransomware payments, scams, and money laundering. Reuters reported in the fall of 2021 on the overall problem of decentralized finance--De-Fi–and its peer-to-peer platforms that circumvent traditional banking and the traditional regulations and safeguards for customers.

Industry watchers expect lots of talk about further regulating the industry but lots of pushback by lobbyists on reining it in. Get your popcorn for the ‘show’ that will develop over this contentious issue.

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