The Fraud Examiner

Digital Currencies – A Wake Up Call for Fraud Investigators

Martin Kenney, CFE

Managing Partner of Martin Kenney & Co. Solicitors


Digital currencies as a medium for the exchange of value are here to stay. Many predicted that crypto-currencies (digital currencies using encryption techniques to regulate and verify the generation and transfer of currency units) would be short-lived due to the lack of trust, lack of regulation and the fact that their use was simply too complex for the majority of the general public — yet how wrong they have been.


I do not profess to have expertise in digital currencies, and the fact is that those who choose to use this monetary system remain in the minority. However, initial perceptions that the use of e-currencies would be isolated to “geeks” is rapidly proving to be inaccurate. The use of Bitcoin, for example, appears to be on the rise.


Specialized anti-fraud and anti-money laundering law firms have come into the mix, because the number of fraudsters using digital currency to launder their illicit gains is increasing. This means that fraud investigators need to gain more than a passing familiarity with the use of Bitcoin as a money laundering medium. We need to understand it better so that we don’t miss relevant clues when they present themselves.

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