We had an Interview with the World-wide famous Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Cryptocurrencies Forensics and Blockchain Threat Intelligence company, CipherTrace. Mike Cowans shares his thoughts about Cryptocurrency and Money laundering, regulation and much more. Please have a look.
Mike Cowans (Regional Director at CipherTrace)
Interview Date :10th January 2020
The company was established startup 5 and half〜6 years ago, founded by David Jevans, and our COO Stephen Ryan. It was based around important incidents in the crypto world in 2012 and 2013. At that time, one of the biggest incident that happened which was the incident of Mount Gox. So, CipherTrace founders started to develop a solution for trace that transaction in order to recover some of that lost money. So other platform continued to develop from there. By reacting to and wanting to prevent incident like from occurring again, we started working with the government and and investigation, so that’s how it developed. And the platform also continues to grow.
Money Laundering in The Year 2019
It was a big year. When you look at money laundering, there were all kinds of different aspects. However if we look at the first 9 months, we saw that there was a 150% growth in money laundering activities compared to 2018. In 2018 there was 1.7 billion US dollar lost due to money laundering, and this went up by 150 % in the first 9 months in September which is equivalent to 4.4 billion US dollars of 2019 in digital currency crime. The reason behind that were 2 very large incident last year that drove those crimes. That was the 2.9 billion US dollar PlusToken scam and Quadriga’s $195 Million Crypto collapse that happened early in April in 2019.
Influence of Money Laundering in the overall Cryptocurrency market
As an individual, those money laundering increase rates do seem like very big numbers. But when you look at the amount of currency in the market on a daily basis, it is relatively only a small part of the overall picture. And frauds are worrisome to some extent, but I am not overly worried, because that amount of growth of cryptocurrency is huge and the industry is going to continue on developing and growing. I might be more worried about if there weren’t actions taken concerning it.
We are now able to witness global regulators coming together and work into the issue creating policies in order to protect the cryptocurrency ecosystem from different types of fraud by introducing regulations into the market. Also, when we see global law enforcement becoming more active investigating in cryptocurrency crimes, that keeps me from being concerned. Moreover, the kinds of issues CipherTrace is involved with, helping to trace and follow the flow of money, it clears those types of concerned. With the nature of blockchain, it’s actually a positive thing. With blockchain, you can’t change a transaction that has been done and you cannot change the information on it either, so it is easier to trace where money is transferred to than the fiat market.
Trace Stolen cryptocurrency and Identified Cyber Attackers
Again that is something that is difficult to do, but there is a number of methodologies into figuring this out. However, on a basic level it’s about having an accurate view of the whole picture and being able to process the data with our technology, its possible. It’s hard to follow transactions and link different entities trying to figure out if there is a trend. How we identify cyber attackers does not only interrelate with community information, but also is due to the traces the cyber attackers leave behind, like making their cryptocurrency addresses known.
Some more illicit criminals in the dark web make themselves known in the dark market by posting and sharing they bitcoin addresses and cryptocurrency addresses making it known so they can do businesses. It that way it can be very easy to identify them. In other cases it can be very difficult, so we have to trace different transactions and follow patterns that can be concerning. If we know that one entity is a criminal, and another person transacting to this very one person, this could means that the transactor is also another criminal, and helps us to trace them.
Interviewer , Editor : Lina Kamada
The Article published on this our Homepage are only for the purpose of providing information. This is not intended as a solicitation for cryptocurrency trading. Also, this article is the author’s personal opinions, and this does not represent opinion for the Company BTCBOX co.,Ltd.