At the Money20/20 conference in Amsterdam this week, former US Federal Prosecutor Mary Beth Buchanan was quick to back crypto, stating her belief that far more crimes have been committed using fiat currency than cryptocurrencies.
Buchanan was the United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, but has since become more involved in the world of crypto – including recently being employed by exchange giant Kraken as general counsel. In a later interview with Cointelegraph, she said:
I served 21 years at the Justice Department and it’s not fair to say there is a greater amount of crime with cryptocurrencies. In fact I would strongly disagree with that.
It is, however, true that crypto has often been exploited for the relative anonymity that the currency grants its users. However, the nature of these crimes has changed a lot since the initial crypto boom. While a number of currencies were used on the dark web for the purchase and sale of illegal goods such as drugs initially, the focus then became money laundering. However, several exchanges have since been forced to comply with new regulations – most notably in South Korea, where anonymity isn’t allowed anymore.
Since then, the shift in focus has been to mining crimes, where hackers take control of mining pools or individual computers across the world in order to obtain more mining power. This is a fairly predictable pattern though, as regulators and authorities across the world struggle to get to grips with what has been an incredibly quickly-developing technology. Now, as some countries begin to take harsher stances, it is likely that crime levels will reduce, whereas with fiat currencies, established laws are less likely to change, meaning that crime rates should be more stable.
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