Well, the trend continued. In the last three months of 2018, financial regulators received another 1,000-plus cryptocurrency related cases, taking the yearly total to 7,096 cases, the Japan Times reports.
This is of course a dramatic increase over the 669 cases reported between April and December 2017. However, in 2017, Japan introduced regulations making it easier to report cryptocurrency-based money laundering cases. Which may go someway to explaining the large increase.
It’s also worth noting that these 7,096 cases represent only 1.6 percent of the total number of money laundering cases reported in the same period. While the number of reported cases did see a huge increase, in the grand scheme of things they only represent a small subset of the 417,465 on going financial money laundering investigations.
Indeed, when talking in absolute global figures the amount of cryptocurrency being used to launder dirty money sounds large. Previous reports have suggested that over $2.5 billion was laundered using Bitcoin and “cryptocurrency tumblers.”