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Crypto-related Money Laundering Cases Experience Eight-Fold Increase in Japan

  • Alex Morris
    📰 News

    It might seem like crypto crime has skyrocketed in Japan this year, but it’s simply the direct result of the policy that puts exchanges under closer scrutiny


Crypto-related Money Laundering Cases Experience Eight-Fold Increase in Japan
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According to The Japan Times, the number of money laundering cases that involve cryptocurrencies has experienced an eight-fold increase this year. Still, digital assets are only responsible for a minuscule two percent of all suspicious transactions.    

An eight-fold spike  

On Dec. 6, the National Police Agency (NPA) released a report which states that almost 6,000 of cryptocurrency-related money laundering cases were recorded in ten months. This figure is almost eight times bigger than the previous one – in 2017, only 700 similar cases were reported from January till October. Criminals would use a fake ID in order to get unauthorized access to other accounts.

Overall, there were more than 346,000 instances of suspicious trading (mainly related to traditional banking institutions).     

Misleading figures

The results are not necessarily indicative of the growth of crypto-related criminal activities given that exchanges weren’t supposed to report suspicious trading activity to the FSA. In April, the NPA eventually imposed such an obligation on local cryptocurrency trading platforms for them to align with anti-money laundering (AML) regulations. NPA states that transactions are being monitored more ‘rigorously’ with the current notification system.


Regulatory hindrances

U.Today has recently reported that Singaporean authorities are struggling to battle fake Bitcoin investment scams because of the anonymous nature of Bitcoin. In the case with money laundering, discrepancies between cryptocurrency regulations in different countries create yet another hindrance.

It is worth mentioning that Japan is considered one of the most progressive nations when it comes to regulating digital assets. Cryptocurrency exchanges are legal in Japan, but sometimes they get subjected to an ALM shakeup in order to enhance investor protection. The Japanese Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA) has been recently granted a self-regulatory status by the FSA, the country’s major financial watchdog.

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It Would Take Several Seconds to Hack Every Cryptocurrency in the Nearest Future


It Would Take Several Seconds to Hack Every Cryptocurrency in the Nearest Future
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Blockchain is commonly known as an immutable ledger that is impossible to hack, but there is always a looming threat of quantum computers. HCASH Chief Scientist Dr Joseph Liu, who claims that every single cryptocurrency can be hacked in a matter of seconds, has come up with his own coin that won’t be threatened by quantum hackers.

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The inevitable quantum takeover     

Quantum computers are generally considered to be the Achilles’ heel of Blockchain-based cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin. IBM has already announced its first quantum computer with Google and Intel also working in that direction in 2019.


IOTA, which is powered by DAG dubbed ‘Tangle’, is considered to be the only quantum-proof cryptocurrency on the market, but there could be yet another option – Hypercash that recently presented its post-quantum secure Ring CT protocol.    

‘If you want to use this computer to break the … normal security, it’ll take maybe 500 years to break the system. If you use a quantum computer, maybe several seconds. Hcash is trying to provide security, even in the existence of this future computer,’ – he claims during a recent interview.

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A precursor to Monero     

The aforementioned quantum-resistance cryptocurrency is based on Liu’s research paper about a ‘linkable ring signature.’  Fun fact: that paper, which was published back in 2014, was used by the creators of Monero as the basis for the flagship privacy coin.

The Ring Confidential Transaction (RingCT) allows having an external verifier without exposing who that verifier is. Liu didn’t expect the coin to produce any significant impact, but now he is eager to improve the protocol of the billion dollar currency without getting any financial gains.

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High hopes for Blockchain

Despite his gloomy prediction about the quantum takeover, Liu is still certain that the future of Blockchain is bright. He is certain that there will be an increasing number of Blockchain-related jobs that will be coupled with growing academic interest in cryptography. There is will be many use cases of Blockchain technology in different spheres of our life.

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