Cybercriminal proceeds make up an estimated 8-10 percent of total illegal profits laundered globally, amounting to an estimated $80-$200 billion each year, according to a nine-month academic study by Dr. Mike McGuire, Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Surrey University.
Many cybercriminals are using virtual currency to make property purchases which convert illegal proceeds into legitimate cash and assets. Websites offer everything from penthouse suites and lavish mansions, to private islands, all with the option to buy using bitcoins. Unlike cash purchases, properties purchased with cryptocurrency are not closely scrutinised because cryptocurrencies aren’t regulated by any central banks or governments.
The study found that nearly 25 percent of total property sales are predicted to be in cryptocurrency in the next few years. This is concerning financial analysts who worry that allowing swifter, more covert transactions, many with criminal origins, will disrupt global property markets.
Read more about the new academic study on cybercrime on Help Net Security.