In 2010, the first and only cryptocurrency, Bitcoin was worth less than 1 cent. In Q1 2021, its value exceeded $60,000, and it has been joined by thousands of other cryptocurrencies, reflecting a decade of substantial growth in the area. This nascent technology presents a new and challenging frontier in the war against financial crime.

While these new technologies bring new opportunities for the global financial system, they also pose challenges. Illicit activity has accounted for over $30 billion of all cryptocurrency activity over the past two years, and regulators are having to move quickly to ensure that the appropriate safeguards are in place to detect and prevent financial crime in this fast-moving environment.

In our most recent financial crime webinar we were joined by James Ramsden QC and Nina Stewart from Astraea Group to discuss the rapidly evolving and complex world of cryptocurrencies.

Alongside Mark Doughty and David White, two of AlixPartners' cryptocurrency experts, we covered a wide range of issues these new and unique technologies pose regulators and financial institutions.

Among the topics covered:

  • What are cryptocurrencies, and what unique legal and regulatory challenges do they present?
  • What are the regulators doing to overcome these challenges and how is enforcement working in practice?
  • How do we address the challenges in financial investigations and regulatory responses?
  • What does the future look like for cryptocurrencies and regulatory enforcement?

During the discussion we received a number of questions from attendees. You can read our panel's responses here.