It was recently pointed out by Anthony Pompliano (@APomplian), Co-founder & Partner at Morgan Creek Digital, that “[t]here was 2 trillion US dollars laundered last year”, which is “more than 6.5X the entire crypto market cap”.
There was $2 trillion of US dollars laundered last year.
That is more than 6.5X the entire crypto market cap.
— Pomp ? (@APompliano) July 18, 2019
While Pomp did not list his source, other redditors found that the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that the “amount of money laundered globally in one year is 2 – 5% of global GDP, or $800 billion – $2 trillion in current US dollars”. The size is indeed pretty large and much larger than the entire current cryptocurrency market. This also aligns with other recent news where a cargo shipping container owned by the financial magnate, J.P. Morgan, was caught attempting to smuggle 20 tons of cocaine, valued at around 1.3 billion USD.
Cryptocurrency’s transparency is not conducive to illicit uses
Cryptocurrency is often on the receiving end of negative opinions by regulators and even the general public that it is used by drug dealers for illicit purposes. However, an easy counterargument is that even if some people use cryptocurrency for illicit purposes, it is still relatively small compared to the amount of people using US dollars, debit/credit cards, or even laptops and cell phones, but there are rarely calls to ban these technologies simply in the hopes of reducing some criminal activities.
However, the belief that cryptocurrency is good for anonymous use is a bit paradoxical since the main strength of many cryptocurrencies is the public ledger so everyone can can verify the transactions, and thus, the legitimacy of the cryptocurrency. An option for those participating in illicit activities is to use coins with more encrypted or obscured ledgers, but this then poses a problem when the person wants to realize their gains and convert their funds into a usable currency since cryptocurrency merchant adoption has been relatively low, especially for more private, encrypted coins. The most recent Silk Road arrest showed how cryptocurrency is only pseudo-anonymous and actors are at a risk to identify themselves when converting to a different currency.
Dash focusing on real world, legal usage
While no one can control what everyone does with open-source technology in a free world, Dash attempts to steer individuals towards legitimate uses by focusing on merchant adoption and incentives to encourage Dash’s use for legal activities. This helps cultivate a Dash community that truly wants Dash to become digital cash and replace fiat in everyday life rather than having a community primarily focused on illicit uses. Additionally, all of Dash’s transactions are on the public ledger, even PrivateSend transactions are just obscured on the public ledger. This further supports the argument that individuals that really want to conduct illicit activities would want to use another payment method that does not store a historical record of all transactions that could be used by authorities against him/her.