Virtual Currency and Cryptocurrency References
by John Bandler
These virtual currency references are a compilation of various links and references I have compiled over the years.
I refer to when speaking on virtual currency, cryptocurrency, virtual assets, and cybercrime money laundering. It is also a starting point for students researching these issues.
(I used to include most of these in my main article on virtual currency, but separated them because it was getting unwieldy and long.)
My articles and books
- Cryptocurrency past is prologue: before and after FTX, John Bandler, Reuters Legal News, January 17, 2023, on Reuters at https://www.reuters.com/legal/transactional/cryptocurrency-past-is-prologue-before-after-ftx-2023-01-17/, and hosted here with permission
- John Bandler, Stemming the Flow of Cybercrime Payments and Money Laundering, ACAMS Today (June-August 2017) https://www.acamstoday.org/stemming-the-flow-of-cybercrime-payments/
- John Bandler, Lawyers, Drugs and Money: AML in Popular Media, by John Bandler, ACAMS Today (March 2018) https://www.acamstoday.org/lawyers-drugs-and-money-aml-in-popular-media/
- John Bandler, Virtual Currency (including digital currency, cryptocurrency, virtual assets, and "value that substitutes for currency") https://johnbandler.com/virtual-currency-virtual-assets-cryptocurrency/
- John Bandler, Money Laundering Investigations, within Encyclopedia of Security and Emergency Management, 2018, Shapiro L., Maras MH. (eds), Springer, Cham, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69891-5_26-1
- John Bandler & Antonia Merzon, Cybercrime Investigations: A Comprehensive Resource for Everyone (CRC Press, 2020).
- Cybercrime Investigations book overview page: https://johnbandler.com/cybercrime-investigations/
- John Bandler and Antonia Merzon, A Call for Better Cybercrime Investigation, ACAMS Today (March 2020) https://www.acamstoday.org/a-call-for-better-cybercrime-investigation/
- Antonia Merzon and John Bandler, The Need for Improved Cybercrime Investigations: Why We Wrote This Book (June 19, 2020) https://www.routledge.com/blog/article/the-need-for-improved-cybercrime-investigations-why-we-wrote-this-book
- The Western Express Case
Some laws and regulations
- United States
- 31 CFR § 1010.100 (m) Currency defined, https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/31/1010.100
- 18 USC § 1956 Laundering of Monetary Instruments, https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1956
- 18 U.S. Code § 1957, Engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity, https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1957
- 18 U.S. Code § 1960, Prohibition of Unlicensed Money Transmitting Businesses https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1960
- New York State
- NYS PL § 470.00 et seq., Money Laundering, https://codes.findlaw.com/ny/penal-law/pen-sect-470-00.html
- NYS Banking Law § 650, Unlicensed Money Transmitter, https://codes.findlaw.com/ny/banking-law/bnk-sect-650.html
- 23 NYCRR 200, NYS Department of Financial Services Rule 200 on Virtual Currencies, https://www.law.cornell.edu/regulations/new-york/title-23/chapter-I/part-200
- Even more links and citations below
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) (the U.S., our financial intelligence organization and AML regulatory organization)
- FinCEN, FIN-2013-G001, Application of FinCEN’s Regulations to Persons Administering, Exchanging, or Using Virtual Currencies, March 18, 2013, https://www.fincen.gov/sites/default/files/shared/FIN-2013-G001.pdf
- FinCEN, FIN-2019-A003, Advisory on Illicit Activity Involving Convertible Virtual Currency, May 9, 2019, https://www.fincen.gov/sites/default/files/advisory/2019-05-10/FinCEN%20Advisory%20CVC%20FINAL%20508.pdf
- FinCEN, FIN-2019-G001, Guidance on Application of FinCEN’s Regulations to Certain Business Models
Involving Convertible Virtual Currencies, May 9, 2019, https://www.fincen.gov/sites/default/files/2019-05/FinCEN%20Guidance%20CVC%20FINAL%20508.pdf
- FinCEN Advisory, October 1, 2020, FIN-2020-A006, Advisory on Ransomware and the Use of the Financial System to Facilitate Ransom Payments, https://www.fincen.gov/sites/default/files/advisory/2020-10-01/Advisory%20Ransomware%20FINAL%20508.pdf
Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)
- OFAC, Advisory on Potential Sanctions Risks for Facilitating Ransomware Payments, October 1, 2020, https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/126/ofac_ransomware_advisory_10012020_1.pdf
Financial Action Task Force (FATF) (an international organization devoted to fighting financial crime and money laundering)
- FATF: The FATF Recommendations, Adopted 2012, updated June 2019, http://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/recommendations/pdfs/FATF%20Recommendations%202012.pdf
- FATF: Guidance for a Risk-Based Approach to Virtual Assets and Virtual Asset Service Providers, June 2019, http://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/recommendations/RBA-VA-VASPs.pdf
- FATF: Guidance for a Risk-Based Approach to Virtual Currencies, June 2015, http://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/reports/Guidance-RBA-Virtual-Currencies.pdf (Older, but discusses the Western Express case, one of the earliest virtual currency cybercrime money laundering cases.)
- FATF: Regulation of virtual assets, October 19, 2018, http://www.fatf-gafi.org/publications/fatfrecommendations/documents/regulation-virtual-assets.html
- FATF: Virtual Currencies, Key Definitions and Potential AML/CFT Risks June 2014, http://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/reports/Virtual-currency-key-definitions-and-potential-aml-cft-risks.pdf
- FATF: Public Statement – Mitigating Risks from Virtual Assets, February 22, 2019, http://www.fatf-gafi.org/publications/fatfrecommendations/documents/regulation-virtual-assets-interpretive-note.html
United States Department of Justice (DOJ)
- Cryptocurrency Enforcement Framework, Report of The Attorney General’s Cyber Digital Task Force, Department of Justice, (October 2020) https://www.justice.gov/cryptoreport
NYS Department of Financial Services (NYS DFS) (New York's financial regulator)
NYS Department of Financial Services Rule 200 on Virtual Currencies, 23 NYCRR 200, Virtual Currencies, and related webpages.
- NYS DFS Rule 200 at Cornell Law's site: https://www.law.cornell.edu/regulations/new-york/title-23/chapter-I/part-200
On 6/24/2020 there was some interesting news about partnership with the State University of New York (SUNY) and potential conditional licensing, so I have updated the links below.
New York State Attorney General (NYS AG or NYAG) (providing consumer and investor protection within NYS)
- Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative Report, Sept 18, 2018, https://ag.ny.gov/sites/default/files/vmii_report.pdf
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
- The SEC protects investment risk, they assert jurisdiction over virtual currencies used as investment vehicles. They offer guidance relating to initial coin offerings (ICO) and other use of virtual currencies as an investment vehicle: https://www.sec.gov/ICO
- SEC Investor Alert, https://www.investor.gov/introduction-investing/general-resources/news-alerts/alerts-bulletins/investor-alerts/investor-39
- SEC Investor Alert, https://www.sec.gov/investor/alerts/ia_virtualcurrencies.pdf
Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
- The CFTC regulates commodities and currency trading, they offer guidance on virtual currencies, and assert jurisdiction over them as commodities subject to the Commodity Exchange Act: https://www.cftc.gov/Bitcoin/index.htm
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
- The IRS manages our federal tax system. They treat virtual currency as property, virtual currency income as a capital gain, and remind people to report such income and pay taxes on it. https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-reminds-taxpayers-to-report-virtual-currency-transactions https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-14-21.pdf
U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
- The CFPB is another financial regulator. In November 2022 they put out a bulletin regarding virtual assets and cryptocurrency.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
- FINRA is a nongovernmental organization that creates and enforces rules for brokers and broker-dealers.
- FINRA Investor Alert, Bitcoin: More than a Bit Risky, https://www.finra.org/investors/alerts/bitcoin-more-bit-risky
U.S. Executive orders
- Fact Sheet on President Biden's Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets, 3/9/2022, https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/03/09/fact-sheet-president-biden-to-sign-executive-order-on-ensuring-responsible-innovation-in-digital-assets/
- Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets, 3/9/2022, https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2022/03/09/executive-order-on-ensuring-responsible-development-of-digital-assets/
- Dan Olson (Folding Ideas), Line Goes Up - The Problem With NFTs https://youtu.be/YQ_xWvX1n9g
YouTube videos on money laundering (fun watching)
Fun YouTube videos, excerpted from some really good TV. Watch the clip, then you may decide to watch more. Consider how the typologies for virtual currency and cybercrime money laundering will differ from cash money laundering depicted in these videos.
- The Wire, Baltimore detectives follow the money trail to see who is really profiting from street drug dealing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShWe-4mtV8w
- YouTube title: The Wire - Chasing the Paper Trail
- The Wire, Season 1, Episode 9, “Game Day,” Blown Deadline Productions/HBO, 2002.
- Breaking Bad, a criminal defense attorney (who is also a criminal) explains money laundering. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ez6xH-su2xI
- YouTube title: Breaking Bad, Saul explains money laundering – subtitle
- Breaking Bad, Season 3, Episode 9, “Kafkaesque,” High Bridge Entertainment/Grand Via Productions/Sony Pictures Television, 2010.
- Breaking Bad, money laundering wife explains to husband the difficulties laundering all their dirty cash. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXH6fhueO3I
- YouTube title: Breaking Bad: The Fifth Season - How Much Is Enough?.
- Breaking Bad, Season 5, Episode 8, "Gliding Over All”, High Bridge/Sony Pictures.
- Scarface, a ridiculous 80’s music video montage that shows laundering of cash criminal proceeds. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Olgn9sXNdl0
- YouTube title: Scarface | Push It to the Limit
- Scarface, Universal Pictures, 1983.
- Ozark Official Season 1 Trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hAXVqrljbs
- I need to mention Ozark, but should mention that I lost interest sometime after Season 1
- YouTube title: Ozark | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix
- Global Witness, Undercover in New York https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kC2DDNLvFg8 (attorneys)
Also worth a watch or read on cryptocurrency, NFTs, etc.
- Dan Olson, Line Goes Up - The Problem With NFTs, Jan 21, 2022, Folding Ideas channel via YouTube, https://youtu.be/YQ_xWvX1n9g
- James Mickens, Blockchains Are a Bad Idea (James Mickens), HBS Digital Initiative channel via YouTube, https://youtu.be/15RTC22Z2xI
- Eric Lipton and David Yaffe-Bellany, Crypto Industry Helps Write, and Pass, Its Own Agenda in State Capitols, New York Times, April 10, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/10/us/politics/crypto-industry-states-legislation.html
- Farhad Manjoo, What Is Happening to the People Falling for Crypto and NFTs, New York Times, May 5, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/05/opinion/crypto-nfts-web3.html
- Paul Krugman, How Crypto Became the New Subprime, New York Times, Jan 27, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/27/opinion/cryptocurrency-subprime-vulnerable.html
- David Yaffe-Bellany, Millions for Crypto Start-Ups, No Real Names Necessary, New York Times, March 2, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/02/technology/cryptocurrency-anonymity-alarm.html
- Angus Berwick, Dan Levine and Tom Wilson, Exclusive: U.S. Justice Dept is split over charging Binance as crypto world falters, Reuters, Dec 12, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/markets/us/us-justice-dept-is-split-over-charging-binance-crypto-world-falters-sources-2022-12-12/
- Kim Zetter, Ukrainian Carder in $5 Million Ring Sentenced to 14-Plus Years in Prison, Wired (August 8, 2013) https://www.wired.com/2013/08/carder-eskalibur-sentenced/ (Article about the Western Express cybercrime investigation and prosecution, a case mentioned throughout book).
Yes, all the above are critical of the recent hype on cryptocurrency and NFTs.
More references and additional reading on this site
- Virtual Currency (including cryptocurrency, virtual assets, etc.) (my main article)
- Cybercrime Investigation
This page was formerly hosted at my 2019 article and I moved the links to https://johnbandler.com/virtual-currency-presentation, and now to here.
This page is hosted at https://johnbandler.com/virtual-currency-references/, copyright John Bandler, all rights reserved.
Page created 3/24/2022 to supplement my 2019 article. Updated 10/03/2023.