Crypto assets have found use cases across different sectors, increasing their mass adoption globally. From remittance payments to cross-border transactions, digital assets have ensured flexible settlements for those who embraced them.
However, amid the rising global adoption, security personnel have discovered that criminals and terrorist organizations are using crypto to facilitate the funding of their activities.
In a new report, Svetlana Martynova, the coordinator of the UN team for Countering Terrorism Financing, commented on the issue of using digital assets to finance crimes. The official said the terrorist groups excluded from the formal financial system have resorted to using digital assets to fund their criminal activities.
Martynova commented during a speech at a special meeting of the UN’s Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) in New Delhi and Mumbai. The meeting agenda focused on fighting the use of new technologies for terrorist activities.
Harms Caused By Emerging Technologies Goes Beyond Terrorism: UN Sec Gen
According to Martynova, although cash and hawala are predominant methods for terror financing, terrorists have adapted to changes in their environment. Terrorists find ways to adapt as technologies evolve. She noted that the new technologies include cryptocurrencies, which are constantly abused.
Furthermore, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also commented on the matter. He said that though new technologies have peerless potential to improve human living, their disadvantages go beyond terror financing.
According to Guterres, terrorists and criminals are abusing new technologies to spread misinformation, execute attacks, mobilize resources, and foment discord.
UN Sets Global Standards To Combat Crypto Crimes
However, the UN has strategies with which it plans to tackle this problem. Martynova said the organization’s main challenge is onboarding nation-states in its regulations. According to her, they have set clear global standards from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the resolutions of the UNSC.
Martynova added that only a few countries had kick-started regulation to keep off ill-purposed foreign actors. Furthermore, fewer countries are enforcing the law successfully.
However, the state is trying to combat digital-related money laundering and cybercrimes. The United States Department of the Treasury is a notable example, sanctioning the crypto mixer Tornado Cash for money laundering and cybercrime.
Recently some blockchain-based analytics firms like Chainalysis and Elliptic have started tracking down cybercriminal activities and reporting the same to governments. That has, in some ways, helped dissipate the notion that cryptocurrency is a haven for criminals.
In June 2022, Chainalysis launched a team to track crypto theft and scams called Crypto Incident Response Services. Chainalysis senior director of investigations and special programs, Erin Plante, commented on the development.
She said that Crypto Incident Response Services is to provide specialized help for law enforcement agencies when cracking down on complex crypto cases.
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