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UN: cryptocurrencies make it difficult to fight the financing of terrorism

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Neil Walsh, head of the United Nations (UN) Cybercrime and Anti-Money Laundering Unit, said cryptocurrencies made it very difficult to counter terrorism financing, money laundering and cybercrime. It is reported by CoinDesk.

In particular, in a conversation with Australian Public Broadcasting Corporation, Walsh expressed the view that the anonymous and pseudonymous properties of cryptocurrencies provide “a new level of secrecy that helps criminals.”

The official made a significant emphasis on the role of digital currencies in the sale of children, noting that now it has become much more difficult for law enforcement officers to track the source of funds:

“When you add an encrypted layer that is anonymous or pseudonymous, it becomes very difficult for law enforcement to confront this challenge. At the same time, it becomes easier for attackers to do what they do. And this creates risks, especially for children.”

Walsh expressed the opinion that the measures proposed by the FATF to tighten control over the bitcoin industry can help solve the problem of cryptocurrency transaction tracking. These measures, in particular, oblige bitcoin exchanges and other cryptocurrency service providers to comply with AML and CFT (counter-terrorism financing) procedures, similar to traditional financial companies.

“We are still waiting to see how it works,” the official said, adding that the UN, together with various politicians and experts, is developing a regulatory policy for the cryptocurrency sphere.

Recall that in January the UN published a report stating that cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies can save the world from having to trust centralized institutions, reduce bureaucratic red tape, create new business models and significantly improve management efficiency.

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