According to Reuters, a new partnership between LexisNexis and the London-based Elliptic aims to pool resources to prevent illicit bitcoin use and monitor money laundering through bank-grade tracking capabilities.
Elliptic and LexisNexis: A Bank-Grade Bitcoin AML on the Horizon
LexisNexis Risk Solutions is a member of the multinational analytics firm RELX Group. The firm helps traditional finance firms reduce money laundering schemes, and promotes regulatory compliance across millions of global companies throughout its network.
With the help from Elliptic, a surveillance platform dedicated to monitoring the Bitcoin blockchain, the two firms hope to curb illegal cryptocurrency transactions. The companies will provide bank-grade anti-money-laundering (AML) services to the Bitcoin network, Reuters reports.
Thomas Brown, of LexisNexis Risk Solutions stated in the announcement:
This is a step toward making Bitcoin more mainstream and more acceptable. Today, if you see bitcoins transacting, you almost assume they’re from someone who wants to be off the grid, or they’re proceeds from illicit transactions.
Elliptic’s head of business development, Kevin Beardsley, says one of the biggest reasons mainstream financial services stay away from the Bitcoin ecosystem is that there are no “bank-grade anti-money laundering controls.” Beardsley hopes this initiative will bring a whole new influx of services that want to enter the financial services environment using Bitcoin.
LexisNexis recently launched a Special Investigative Unit (SIU) to help government entities create better use of identity intelligence. The SIU aims to “fight fraud, ensure program integrity and keep communities safe.” The company believes its latest mission with Elliptic will make it less likely for users to be attracted to getting around capital controls, taxation, as well as practicing criminal activities, drug dealing, and arms trafficking.
Additionally, LexisNexis believes tax non-compliance from businesses is a serious issue plaguing the world and could be improved if regions shared more data. The firm explains that in the U.S.,“a survey of tax and revenue officials across 29 states found that 85 percent believe business tax non-compliance is a key concern in their states.” Intentional non-compliance with taxes creates significant fraudulent activity and is “simply hard to prove and easy to get away with.”
Haywood Talcove, CEO, Government, LexisNexis Risk Solutions details the problem his company monitors:
Tax non-compliance impacts everyone. Business owners can inadvertently find themselves in violation, leaving their companies liable to penalties and even dissolution. Non-compliance can also shift a greater share of the tax burden to honest taxpayers. Whether it’s unfamiliarity of tax code requirements, misreporting or fraud, states want and need to do a better job in closing the tax gaps by accessing more data and leveraging new technologies.
Bitcoin Surveillance & Monitoring Services Are Growing
As more Bitcoin surveillance software comes out, and companies utilize these technologies to benefit the nation states’ tax platforms, illicit users may grow concerned. Businesses such as LexisNexis and Elliptic are working directly with government entities to give them an edge on these types of illegal transactions within the Bitcoin network. These types of monitoring services are growing fast, and the creators believe it will benefit the cryptocurrency landscape as far as legitimacy is concerned and tame what they believe is fraudulent behavior.
What do you think about LexisNexis and Elliptic joining forces to create a bank-grade AML Bitcoin service? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of LexisNexis, Elliptic, Pixabay.