International criminals and their virtual currencies: the need for an international effort in regulating virtual currencies and combating cyber crime

Joy Marie Virga

Resumo


Technology is constantly evolving and making our lives easier. Since the advent of the Internet, new technologies have developed that make the world smaller and bring people across the continents closer together. However, these new technologies also create a new medium for criminal activity. One example of these new technologies is virtual currencies. While virtual currencies have many benefits, they also create many opportunities for crimes such as money laundering. Virtual currencies are not controlled by any state entity, they allow users to transfer goods anonymously, and they cross borders effortlessly via the Internet. All these characteristics make it difficult for individual states to regulate virtual currencies in isolation.
Since the nature of virtual currencies makes them difficult to regulate, they often go unregulated. This lack of regulation allows users of virtual currencies to move money around undetected and maintain anonymity as they carry out criminal activity. The anonymity characteristic of virtual currencies makes them a useful tool in cybercrime. This comment will discuss these issues and how international cooperation is necessary in order to effectively counteract cybercriminals who utilize virtual currencies to evade national law enforcement. The comment will also look at how current institutions may be used to address this issue and how they should be updated to deal with this new reality.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5102/rdi.v12i2.3557

ISSN 2236-997X (impresso) - ISSN 2237-1036 (on-line)

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