UN Chief: Dark coins driving child abuse and crime

Many dark coins lack any real utility, but the United Nations (UN) are afraid the few uses they’ve found are especially terrible. A top official from the global body recently told the Australia Broadcasting Corporation that these cryptos are helping drive several illegal activities, including terrorist financing, money laundering and cyber-crime.

Neil Walsh, chief of the UN’s Cybercrime and Anti-Money Laundering unit, said that dark coins provide a “new layer of secrecy that favors the criminals.” As a result, it’s becoming “exceptionally difficult” to follow the money trail. He added:

In the past, when we looked at some of the really big high-threat areas like kids getting abused online, it had to be paid for and now, with the use of cryptocurrencies, it’s exceptionally difficult for investigators to track that and try and manage that risk down.

This isn’t a hopeless story though, and it helps reinforce what more sensible people in the cryptocurrency industry have been saying for quite some time now. If dark coin trade can’t be stopped in the act, then the exchanges that act as onramps might need to be the target. Walsh proposed that exchanges might need to be compelled to implement better security checks. “There isn’t really a large amount of risk around declaring who you are and that you have an interest in moving value,” he told the outlet.

Specifically, Walsh embraced the so called “travel rule,” proposed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Under those regulations, all compliant exchanges would be required to have Know your Customer (KYC) rules for not only their customers, but for all wallets they interact with.

Walsh concluded that efforts are being made to solve the situation, because it’s just not right for the crypto industry to be driving human suffering:

We’ve brought together those policymakers, lawyers, those cryptocurrency experts to try and look what policy might look like in this space, because when we look at some of the really high-risk crime where we see kids, I’m talking babies very, very young, six months old and younger, who are in pay per view live online child sexual abuse streaming websites.

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