Cryptocurrencies were listed for the first time as a means to launder and transfer money related to the drug trade by the China Ministry of Public Security on Thursday.
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- According to the China Drug Crime Report 2021, police solved 5,000 drug trafficking cases involving online transactions last year, or about 9.2% of all the drug-related cases.
- “The circulation of drug funds has expanded from online bank transfers to cryptocurrency and in-game currency,” the report said.
- In mid-2020, the Hangzhou Intermediate People’s Court published a verdict that an executive with a Chinese e-commerce platform used Bitcoin to buy methamphetamine on the dark web in 2018, according to a Chinese media report.
- A research report in January showed that despite China’s ban on cryptocurrencies, 5,137 criminal cases involving crypto were registered in 2021.
- The amount of cryptocurrency used in money laundering activities increased by 30% in 2021 from a year earlier, according to a crypto money laundering report by Chainalysis.
- The police report coincides with increasing anti-crypto rhetoric by China, which is pushing for wider adoption of its own central bank digital currency (CBDC).
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