Cryptocurrency Brings Rising International Risks

By Ryan Rohlfsen, Brendan Hanifin, Patrick Reinikainen and Ethan Thomas (May 11, 2018, 12:41 PM EDT) -- The recent boom in initial coin offerings has drawn wide-ranging regulatory scrutiny in the U.S. stemming from concerns that main-street investors are at increased risk of exposure to fraud when investing in unregistered ICOs. While the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, and other regulators have begun to weigh in on the risks associated with ICOs, it largely remains to be seen how regulators will address the international risks associated with digital currency transactions that often span international borders. For example, criminals may utilize cryptocurrency platforms to launder the proceeds of cross-border crimes with increasing anonymity and complexity, to make illegal payments to foreign officials in exchange for favorable treatment, or to invest in state-sponsored digital currencies offered by nations sanctioned by the U.S. government. For these reasons, individuals and businesses should carefully consider the potential civil and criminal penalties that could soon become a core focus of regulatory enforcement in the digital currency space, particularly in the areas of anti-corruption, anti-money laundering and economic sanctions violations....

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