18 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 1 (2014)

handle is hein.journals/lewclr18 and id is 1 raw text is: ARTICLES
WHACK-A-MOLE: WHY PROSECUTING DIGITAL CURRENCY
EXCHANGES WON'T STOP ONLINE MONEY LAUNDERING
by
Catherine Martin Christopher
Law enforcement efforts to combat money laundering are increasingly
misplaced. As money laundering and other underlying crimes shift into
cyberspace, U.S. law enforcement focuses on prosecuting financial
institutions' regulatory violations to prevent crime, rather than going
after criminals themselves. This Article will describe current U.S. anti-
money laundering laws, with particular criticism of how attenuated
prosecution has become from crime. The Article will then describe the use
of Bitcoin as a money-laundering vehicle, and analyze the difficulties for
law enforcement officials who attempt to choke off Bitcoin transactions in
lieu of prosecuting underlying criminal activity. The Article concludes
with recommendations that law enforcement should look to digital
currency exchangers not as criminals, but instead as partners in the
effort to eradicate money laundering and-more importantly-the crimes
underlying the laundering.
IN T RO D U CT IO N   ............................................................................................. 2
1.      U.S. ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING REGIME EXPLAINED AND
C R IT IQ U ED  ........................................................................................ 3
A .  Statu tes .....................................................................................   3
B .  R egulations ...............................................................................  6
II.     LAUNDERING WITH BITCOIN .......................................................... 10
A.   H ow  Does Bitcoin  W ork? ........................................................... 10
B.   W hy  UseBitcoin ? ..................................................................... 15
1.  Spending  Power  ................................................................ 15
* Visiting Professor of Legal Skills and Director of Bar Preparation Resources
Office, Texas Tech University School of Law. J.D., University of Pittsburgh. The
author wishes to thank Elizabeth Caulfield, Brie D. Sherwin, and DeLeith Duke
Gossett for their assistance and support in the writing of this Article.

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