As Nikkei reports, quoting statistics from Japan’s National Police Agency, from April to December 2017, cryptocurrency exchanges reported 669 instances of suspicious activity they suspect could be money laundering.
This compares to around 347,000 cases reported by banks in 2017, 15,400 from credit card companies and 13,300 from credit unions, Nikkei reports, citing police records. The total number of money laundering reports for the whole of 2017 stood at just over 400,000.
The reporting period for cryptocurrency began in April, 2017 after new legislation obliged exchange operators to increase transparency and adhere to anti-money laundering regulations.
The figures are promising against a continued narrative from international governments that money laundering is a key battleground to be targeted by increased regulations.
Of the 669 cases, it is likely many involved “questionable transactions repeated frequently in a short span of time,” Nikkei notes, further reducing the number of bad actors involved in the practice.
Japan continues to keep a close eye on its fledgling exchange sphere. In the wake of Japanese crypto exchange Coincheck’s $530mln hack in January, 2018, reporting obligations for exchanges have tightened, with finance minister Taro Aso confirming “impartial” inspections by regulators are occurring across exchanges.
In Australia meanwhile, Cointelegraph reported earlier this week, cryptocurrency “scams” sparked 1200 complaints to consumer watchdog the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission last year.