Accointing Weekly | July 8

Our weekly crypto newsletter is here! Learn more about anti-money laundering crypto compliance, the first anti-crypto conference, and what utility NFTs are!

How Blockchain Technology Improves AML Compliance and Helps Fight Crime

We’ve all heard the FUDD around the industry – Bitcoin is used by criminals, Monero is used by Russia to evade sanctions, and Tornado Cash is used to launder money. For someone who is just starting their crypto journey and isn’t familiar with forensic tools, these claims might make sense and point out why we wouldn’t want mass adoption of cryptocurrencies. But, once you realize the data you can uncover with forensic tools, blockchain is the best way to fight crime and help with anti-money laundering (AML) compliance.

According to Thorn Law Group, digital assets accounted for 93% of the total seizures by the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division (IRS CI) in 2021. This 93% or $3.5 billion in cryptocurrency might not be an outlier but rather a new trend with criminal fund seizures. This is because blockchain and cryptocurrencies are permissionless and fully visible to most. Even with privacy coins or tools such as mixers, a trail can always be uncovered using a combination of blockchain explorers and forensic tools. Data privacy is always a sensitive topic regarding regulation since there must be a tradeoff: regulation cannot happen without giving up some privacy rights. However, we must remember that digital assets are paving the way to utilizing technology better to accomplish the same outcomes. Whereas in the past, we had to entrust third parties with our data, we now need to start using blockchain and monitor compliance on-chain.

Haters Gonna Hate: First Anti-Crypto Conference

As we’re busy navigating the current bear market, the Crypto Policy Symposium 2022 kicks off in London in September to gather crypto skeptics in a bid to promote their positions and connect with policymakers. Vocal crypto critic journalist Amy Castor wrote that the two-day Anti-Crypto Conference seeks to provide lawmakers involved in crypto regulation with relevant data to make informed decisions. Co-organizer Stephen Diehl, the public face of crypto bears, has promised to present up to four speakers on each panel dedicated to specific sectors like law, tech, and banking. US and European government regulatory and financial agencies reps are invited, the organizers have said, but so far, only journalists, engineers, and academics feature among the confirmed speakers.

The crypto community’s reaction? As a Reddit user summed it up, “you have to be kind of a big deal to have an official hater group.”

What are utility NFTs?

You’ve almost certainly heard of NFTs, and that’s no wonder – they’re all over the news. Technically speaking, non-fungible tokens have been around since 2014, but they didn’t get wide adoption or the attention of the mainstream media until recent years. Many users still view NFTs as mere “jpegs on the internet, but that’s far from the truth. In fact, NFTs have already transformed themselves into the digital assets of the future, thanks to their newfound utility. In 2022, NFTs have become a gateway to many aspects of everyday life. With NFTs, you can get a ticket to a specific event, become a member of an exclusive community, get property rights over real estate, play video games, use your assets as collateral, and so much more. The use-cases for non-fungible tokens are multiplying by the day, and there’s no telling what could be next!

Want to know more? Check our detailed Utility NFTs blog post.

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