- The US Treasury published an annual report assessing global risks.
- It mentions crypto assets, DeFi and blockchain games.
- The report shows that criminals are increasingly choosing cryptoassets for money laundering.
- The department also expressed concern about the lack of regulation of the DeFi sector.
Although criminals still primarily use fiat, cryptoassets are playing an increasingly important role in laundering illegally obtained money. This thesis is contained in report US Department of the Treasury entitled “National Risk Assessments for Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Proliferation Financing.”
In effect, this material represents the agency's global risk assessment. Among other things, it mentions: the fentanyl crisis, terrorist attacks, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the most popular fraud schemes and examples of new tricks of attackers.
“The public and private sectors can use these updated risk assessments to better understand the current illicit finance environment and develop their own risk mitigation strategies,” the report says.
Additionally, the report also mentions virtual assets and the DeFi sector. In particular, the US Treasury expressed concern that terrorists are using crypto assets to finance their operations:
“Ties between individuals in America and foreign terrorist groups suggest they are attempting to send funds directly to attackers using cash, service providers, and in some cases, virtual assets.”
The Ministry of Finance also noted in the report that many counterparties in the DeFi sector do not comply with the provisions of the Bank Secrecy Law, although they are included in the list of counterparties that are subject to these rules.
The department’s assessment also includes blockchain games:
“In recent years, legal and technological changes have led to a significant increase in the activity of such projects in the United States. The anonymity offered by online gaming, as well as the size and rapid growth of the sector, now pose unique money laundering risks.”
This is not the first time the US Treasury has announced the need to regulate the DeFi sector. We previously covered another department report, which found that this segment must comply with the same anti-money laundering rules as banks.