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Cryptocurrencies and financial crime: solutions from Liechtenstein

Fabian Maximilian Johannes Teichmann (Teichmann International (Schweiz) AG, St. Gallen, Switzerland)
Marie-Christin Falker (Teichmann International (Schweiz) AG, St. Gallen, Switzerland)

Journal of Money Laundering Control

ISSN: 1368-5201

Article publication date: 27 June 2020

Issue publication date: 21 October 2021

1551

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate how cryptocurrencies are being used as a vehicle for financial crime (such as money laundering, terrorist financing and corruption) and propose a more effective international standard for regulation that uses the Liechtenstein blockchain act as a benchmark.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper investigates how cryptocurrencies facilitate financial crime through a qualitative study consisting of interviews with 10 presumed providers of illegal financial services and 18 international compliance experts.

Findings

This study shows that cryptocurrencies are a highly suitable vehicle for money laundering, terrorist financing and corruption and that current compliance efforts in the cryptocurrency sector are ineffective.

Research limitations/implications

The presented findings illustrate that for a more effective combat of financial crime via cryptocurrency, an international standard for blockchain and cryptocurrency regulation must be created. This paper suggests that Liechtenstein’s innovative and comprehensive blockchain act could be used as a basis for said standard. Practitioners should also consider cooperating transnationally when prosecuting financial crime via cryptocurrency.

Originality/value

The fact that cryptocurrencies facilitate financial crime is widely known. However, this study combines the perspectives of both compliance experts and presumed criminals to gain a comprehensive understanding of the techniques that money launderers, terrorist financiers and corrupt public officials use. This paper examines the potential for the innovative Liechtenstein blockchain act, which has, thus, far not received empirical attention, to set the benchmark for international regulations.

Keywords

Citation

Teichmann, F.M.J. and Falker, M.-C. (2021), "Cryptocurrencies and financial crime: solutions from Liechtenstein", Journal of Money Laundering Control, Vol. 24 No. 4, pp. 775-788. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMLC-05-2020-0060

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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