The threats posed by transnational criminal networks exploiting digital currencies for money laundering and terrorism financing are high on INTERPOL’s agenda in 2017.

In January, the first Global Conference on Money Laundering and Digital Currencies – organized by INTERPOL, Europol and the Basel Institute on Governance, with the collaboration of the Qatar National Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Committee – brought together 400 participants from law enforcement and private industry in 60 countries to discuss the risks associated with digital currencies, such as Bitcoin, and how police can address these types of crimes through a global approach.

With digital currencies increasingly used to finance criminal activities including terrorism, INTERPOL’s Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes unit has produced a report on the vulnerabilities of digital currencies for money laundering and the challenges this poses for law enforcement.

Furthermore, several projects related to the use of digital currencies such as Bitcoin for criminal purposes are being undertaken in partnership with law enforcement, international organizations and the private sector. These include projects on Bitcoin laundering and Blockchain analytics, in order to strengthen member countries’ capabilities in this field.

INTERPOL is also conducting specialized training to assist law enforcement in identifying organized crime networks within the Darknet and their use of digital currencies.