British police seize crypto worth € 342 million

As part of a money laundering investigation, the British police seized crypto worth 294 million pounds (approx. 342 million euros).

London police announced that they had seized holdings of an undisclosed cryptocurrency valued at £ 180 million. It did so less than three weeks (June 24, 2021) after an additional £ 114 million was seized. Both seizures are part of a larger money laundering investigation that is likely to continue for months, according to Detective Constable Joe Ryan.

Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Graham McNulty noted that while criminals are increasingly using cryptocurrencies to launder their dirty money, “cash is still the king of the criminal world.” After discovering the first loot, police arrested a 39-year-old woman on suspicion of money laundering.

Regulatory presence is growing

Aside from the Metropolitan Police, several other authorities are also taking action against the misuse of cryptocurrencies. Last week the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) began cracking down on misleading marketing of crypto investments. It will track down and remove all misleading or irresponsible crypto advertisements, especially on online and social media platforms.

The ASA is not a regulator that would be assumed to have so much to do with cryptocurrencies without prior knowledge. The self-regulatory organization of the advertising industry was practically forced to become one of the main players in the monitoring of crypto advertising. That’s because most crypto investments fall outside the scope of the UK’s strict rules on advertising traditional financial products. Otherwise the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) would be responsible.

Even if the FCA doesn’t treat cryptocurrencies like a traditional financial product, the research by the major financial regulator is pretty good. According to one of their studies, only a minority of people actually buy digital coins because of advertising. However, this group achieved significantly worse results in comparison.

The FCA commented that consumers who have been persuaded by advertisers are likely to regret their purchases. This statement is consistent with other current data from the FCA. Despite the fact that more and more people in the UK own cryptocurrencies, the general understanding of cryptocurrencies is on average declining.