Deep Divisions Over Cryptocurrency Risks, Says Survey

Divided opinion on the perceived risks of cryptocurrency, including the links between cryptocurrency and illicit purposes, were among the key findings of a recent global survey.

The survey was commissioned by RUSI and ACAMS, in partnership with YouGov. It was based on 566 unique responses from across the global financial and cryptocurrency industries, including cryptocurrency exchanges, financial regulators, and financial intelligence units.

Finextra said that while doubts were raised about government abilities, the cryptocurrency industry was more confident in itself regarding risks.

Seventy per cent of survey respondents confirmed their fear of cryptocurrency risks.

Those concerns focused on its use in money laundering activities, buying illegal goods, financing terrorist organisations, human trafficking, and displaying counterfeit coins.

Wide gap

The survey also illustrates the disconnect between governments and the cryptocurrency industry over the risks and concerns about criminal activity.

According to the survey, crypto industry workers are less concerned about previous common risks. They consider escaping from sanctions the most prominent current risk.

Participants were divided in the survey about their perceptions of cryptocurrency and whether it was a risk or an opportunity.

The gap was very wide in this regard between government officials and workers in the financial industry on the one hand, and those involved in the cryptocurrency industry on the other hand.

The cryptocurrency industry believes its transactions enjoy greater transparency than traditional financial transactions. They also view crypto as compatible with sanctions and compliance. However, financial institutions and governments have disagreed with this proposition.

Meanwhile, cryptocurrency professionals are aware of the risks they face, according to the survey. Oher players such as media, politicians, and public opinion, on the other hand, are less aware of these risks.

“The cryptocurrency industry appears to be more confident in facing and exploring risks, while the government does not have such faith,” said Kayla Eisenman, research analyst at the Center for Money and Security Crime.

Narrowing the gap between the two parties is very important, given the recognition of the rise of cryptocurrencies.

In the absence of a clear consensus on internal regulatory procedures, the door is open to illegal activities, Eisenman emphasized.

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Mohamed Tharwat 20 Articles
Cairo-based journalist, specialized in economics and finance markets