Data published from the first full year under Japan's cryptocurrency exchange reporting regulations has shown a substantial increase in reports of suspected money laundering events –more than tenfold the amount reported between April and December of 2017. In 2018, 7,096 cryptocurrency transactions demonstrating certain suspicious indicia, such as those originating overseas but using accounts registered in Japan, were reported to Japanese police. Other suspicious transactions involved the use of accounts held under different names and birth dates but featuring matching photo IDs. The number of reports from 2018 represents a 960 percent increase over data from the nine-month period in 2017, beginning in April of that year, after Japan's Payment Services Act took effect, requiring all crypto exchanges to be registered under an FSA license. According to reports, the increase in suspicious transactions in cryptocurrency tracks a wider increase in suspected money laundering events in Japan, increasing 2,296 percent between 2017 and 2018, when the Japanese watchdog heightened its focus on Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer compliance programs.
Cryptopia is now reporting that losses from the January hack represent, in the "worst case," 9.4 percent of its holdings. One data analytics firm estimated those losses as high as $16 million. Separately, a hacker allegedly made off with $7.7 million in EOS, due in part to the failure of one miner to update its blacklist protocol designed to freeze stolen funds. In South Korea, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbin declared bankruptcy after suffering losses of approximately $26 million (29.3 billion won), citing, in part, claims of embezzlement by an executive. In a final noteworthy item, approximately five years after Mt. Gox, formerly the world's biggest bitcoin exchange, filed for bankruptcy, new research has emerged indicating that nearly 3 percent of transactions on the platform were tied to price manipulation.
For more information, please refer to the following links:
- Japan: Reported Cases of Crypto-Related Money Laundering Increase 10-Fold in 2018
- Cases of money laundering linked to cryptocurrency in Japan up tenfold in 2018
- Hacker steals $7.7 million in EOS cryptocurrency after blacklist snafu
- South Korean Crypto Exchange Declares Bankruptcy Citing Embezzlement
- Hacked Exchange Cryptopia Discloses Estimate of Stolen Crypto
- Business Impact Mt. Gox was riddled with price manipulation, data mining reveals
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