According to an official police document, there have been nearly 6,000 cases of cryptocurrency-based money laundering reported to the Japanese police between January and October of this year.
By comparison, the number of such reports last year was 669, but their number increased “after the implementation in April of a law obliging the [cryptocurrency exchange] operators to make reports to the police if they detect dubious digital currency transactions.”
Indeed, a National Police Agency (NPA) spokesperson stated that the rise in reported cases has come as a result of cryptocurrency exchanges actually reporting suspicious trading behavior.
“We have seen some large-scale cryptocurrency thefts, and operators are believed to be scrutinizing transactions more rigorously,” the official said.
While 6,000 might seem like a huge number, the report disclosed that there were over 340,000 suspected cases of money laundering and abuse across all financial transactions, during the same time period.
It’s also worth noting that in mid-November; a report from Japan’s GMO Internet indicated “historical performance” within its cryptocurrency business line. The figures reported were substantial as the company’s quarter-on-quarter profits from cryptocurrency exchange businesses grew by 34.4 percent.
The report issued today also highlights the government agency’s fears that digital asset use could be abused. It acknowledged that a lack of regulatory clarity in many jurisdictions around the world made it very difficult to police crimes associated with digital currency.