On Feb. 28, the National Police Agency (NPA) revealed that there were more than 7,000 money laundering cases that involve cryptocurrency in 2018, Mainichi Japan reports. The figure sounds even more alarming if to consider a ten-fold increase since 2017.
1.7 percent of all suspicious transactions
Bad actors used different tactics — from faking their ID to transferring money from overseas. However, with more than 417,000 cases, crypto accounts only for a minuscule percent of all money transfers that are related to money laundering or other types of illicit activities. The lion share of all suspicious transactions was reported by banking institutions.
AI comes to the rescue
In order to reduce the number of suspicious transactions, the NPA will reportedly start using AI-powered technologies that will help detect illegal trades. When it comes to crypto, the 2019 numbers are also expected to go down since the NPA will be monitoring all suspicious transactions more ‘rigorously’ after forcing exchanges to comply with AML regulations.
Popularity comes at a price
Still, the large digital currency heist shouldn’t come as a surprise given that crypto became even more popular in the Land of the Rising Sun. The Japanese Yen has recently overtaken the US Dollar in daily Bitcoin trading volumes.