Often within our training sessions, we facetiously refer to cryptocurrency as “poof” money…as in “poof!” it’s out there, but you can’t touch it and you can’t feel it…the metaphysical version of its hard coin counterpart. However, the creation and use of cryptocurrency has been growing in staggering numbers. Our local ACAMS chapter recently hosted an event solely dedicated to exploring cryptocurrency through discussion of its origin and risks, to how it should be incorporated into your customer due diligence. Let’s just start with some numbers to substantiate this “poof” money. A Compliance Manager for Bittrex, one of the main crypto coin exchanges in the industry, sat on a panel discussion and explained that Bittrex alone had over 250 different coins (i.e. 250 different cryptocurrencies!) on their exchange…and over 4 million registered customers. CoinBase, a close competitor, has over 11 million customers. So, while you may be scratching your head and talking to yourself in circular arguments about how cryptocurrency actually works, there are A LOT of people out there who are regularly purchasing, selling and exchanging virtual coins.
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