The Dark Side of NFTs — Money Laundering

What is Money Laundering?

For many traders, there is no doubting the beauty of NFTs and what they can do. Whether it be the artwork itself, or its increasingly useful applications using blockchain technology, NFTs are part of a new era ushering in new ways to easily, safely, and securely to everyday things, such as verifying ownership, digitally.

However, as with all good things, comes people who take advantage of it and use it for immoral and unethical reasons, and in this case, we are talking about money laundering.

Money laundering is when a large sum of money is raised through illegal activities such as drug trafficking, and putting it through a legal business transaction to establish a legitimate source. In the case of NFT money laundering, people may have earned a large amount of money through selling illegal drugs, created a NFT, and bought it with another account, making it look like he earned the money through selling a digital asset.

This is made possible due to the non-fungible nature of NFTs. As they are worth as much as someone wants to pay for them, prices can be outrageously high and no one will bat an eye. Additionally, since they are typically bought using cryptocurrencies, it is even harder to track the whole transaction and identify the perpetrator.

We love NFTs and all it brings to society, so we hope everyone can see what us enthusiasts do. That is why we want to help NFTs achieve the platform it deserves so it can thrive, and not be known for what a particular group of people do with them. With the combination of Unleash NFT, Crunch DaVinci, Liquify, and Scour, users are able to better detect suspicious transactions to spot unethical activities such as money laundering by alerting users of the source of funds, abnormal trading patterns, and other fishy details about big NFT transactions.

How can this be stopped?

Although many different crypto-based platforms have hit the market for public use over the past several years, there have not been much development of guidelines and approaches to regulate it by authorities and other global regulatory regimes.

One potential way to help regulate the market is to have Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti Money Laundering (AML) compliance, which would not only help money laundering issues, but also copyright issues.

KYC is a process carried out by a company to ensure the customer is really who they say they are and are not a risk to the business, and is actually a portion of the AML framework that intends to weed out customers with malicious intents such as terroism financing and money laundering.

Although there are some NFT marketplaces that require identification through an application using portfolios and self-introduction videos, these are to maintain exclusivity of creators on their platform rather than for safety, so they are still open to exploitation.

Decentralized KYC

Another downside to implementing KYC for these platforms is the hassle for people trading NFTs legally. KYC has been an on-going issue due to its inefficiency and inconvenience of having to submit multiple identity documents for every platform one wishes to participate in, and also contradicts one of the main reasons people are so invested in the web3 — decentralization.

Luckily, decentralized KYC has been developed to bring the benefits of KYC to the world of decentralized applications and take out the downsides. In decentralized KYC, users retain control of their own data stored in blockchain, and sent from them, directly to the company. The company does not store the data, eliminating the chances of a data breach. However, Decentralized KYC is still in its early stages and not ready for widespread adoption, due to barriers such as support from regulatory bodies. However, many big companies and people are beginning to see the benefits of the increased security and convenience the blockchain offers, and it is quickly gaining steam.

What can be done about it now?

With this being said, there isn’t much that can be done about it at the moment unless the proper regulatory bodies decide there needs to be a change. Still, some people do not believe money laundering via NFTs is as widespread as others believe it to be, one reason being that there are easier and more effective ways to launder money using more liquid assets on the blockchain.

Still, whether or not it is actually happening, money laundering using NFTs is a serious offense that is missing many precautions to prevent it, and will only become more popular as NFT trading becomes more widespread and easy.

Many blockchain enthusiasts believe decentralized KYC is the way to fix many problems within physical and online transactions, but the current development of this method is not strong enough yet. That is why we at bitsCrunch are so passionate about creating and improving our tools to keep the NFT market safe, and pushing the knowledge and benefits of the blockchain to move towards a better future!

About bitsCrunch

bitsCrunch is the Guardian of the NFT ecosystem. It offers buyers and sellers potential tools like Scour, Crunch DaVinci, and Liquify, to identify digital wash trading, asset forgery, the true value of assets, and respectively. Yes, bitsCrunch’s securing services can be integrated in any of the NFT marketplaces with a sense of protecting the authenticity and provenance of the artists and the NFT assets. Also, bitsCrunch keeps you posted on all the latest NFT trends and updates on Unleash NFTs — Launching Soon.

Are you interested in knowing more about the tools or NFT market cap? Get in touch right away.

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