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Evaluating cryptocurrency laundering as a complex socio-technical system: A systematic literature review

Dennis B. Desmond (Centre for Human Factors and Sociotechnical Systems, University of the Sunshine Coast, Sunshine Coast, Australia)
David Lacey (Centre for Human Factors and Sociotechnical Systems, University of the Sunshine Coast, Sunshine Coast, Australia)
Paul Salmon (Centre for Human Factors and Sociotechnical Systems, University of the Sunshine Coast, Sunshine Coast, Australia)

Journal of Money Laundering Control

ISSN: 1368-5201

Article publication date: 2 July 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the findings from a literature review, which aimed to identify previous studies evaluating cryptolaundering from a systems thinking perspective. The aim of this paper is to first confirm that cryptolaundering systems can indeed be defined as complex socio-technical systems and second to present the findings from a systematic review of the literature to determine the extent to which previous research has adopted a systems thinking perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

The study involved a SLR of studies published in the peer-reviewed literature between 2009 and 2018. Rasmussen’s risk management framework (Rasmussen, 1997) was used to evaluate the extent to which a systems thinking perspective had been adopted.

Findings

The cryptolaundering process is considered to be a complex socio-technical system. The review demonstrates that no previous studies have defined cryptolaundering as a complex socio-technical system or used systems thinking framework approach to evaluate how criminals, regulatory bodies or law enforcement entities understand processes and assess risk within cryptolaundering systems. It is argued that using such an approach to the cryptolaundering process would likely improve assessing criminal risk analyses of cryptolaundering and assist law enforcement and regulatory bodies with understanding risk management during the laundering of cryptocurrencies.

Originality/value

Future assessments of cryptolaundering using socio-technical system analytical processes may afford law enforcement and regulatory bodies the opportunity to improve intervention techniques and identify gaps in regulations and enforcement.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research was partially funded by the Australian Government through the Australian Research Council’s Linkage Projects funding scheme (LP160100277) and the project partners (The University of Queensland, University of Southampton, Queensland Police Service, IDCARE, Australian Postal Corporation, Department of Home Affairs, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre). The views expressed herein are those of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Australian Government, Australian Research Council or the project partners.

Professor Paul Salmon’s contribution to this article was funded through his Australian Research Council Fellowship (project number FT140100681).

Citation

Desmond, D.B., Lacey, D. and Salmon, P. (2019), "Evaluating cryptocurrency laundering as a complex socio-technical system: A systematic literature review", Journal of Money Laundering Control, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 480-497. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMLC-10-2018-0063

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited