John Collins

This report aims to provide a broad overview of cryptocurrencies and organized crime. It is meant for readers that may have an expertise in one, both or neither, as a means to better understand the challenges posed by emerging blockchain technologies and decentralized finance.

The paper argues that blockchain technologies and their derivatives are a significant technological innovation, but one that has unclear use cases and outcomes. Potential use cases are currently speculative and surrounded by uncertainty, hype and, in many cases, fraud and Ponzi schemes.

The paper points to central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) as a key global innovation with perhaps the most significant transformative outcomes of blockchain technologies, despite not being based on such technology. It also points to the regulatory changes underway in response to these emerging technologies and calls for a continued roll‑out in regulatory and law enforcement capabilities to limit the risks and challenges posed by these technologies.