What to do if you receive dirty cryptocurrency

Dirty cryptocurrency, similar to "dirty" money, refers to digital assets that are associated with criminal transactions or illegal activities.
Examples of when a cryptocurrency can be considered "dirty"
  • Cryptocurrency theft

    If a cryptocurrency has been stolen or hacked into cryptocurrency wallets, exchanges, or other digital platforms, it can be classified as dirty.

  • Illegal dark web transactions

    Cryptocurrency used to pay for illegal services and goods on the dark web, such as drugs, weapons, stolen data or fake documents, can also be considered dirty.

  • Mixers and shadow exchange platforms

    Using cryptomixers or participating in shady exchange platforms that serve to mix and obscure transactions may result in cryptocurrencies being treated as “dirty”.

  • Scams and Ponzi schemes

    If a cryptocurrency is obtained from scam projects or investment companies involved in fraud or pyramid schemes, it can be considered dirty.

What risks will you face if you own dirty cryptocurrency
If you have a “dirty” cryptocurrency, you may face restrictions when trading it on the markets. Crypto exchanges and exchangers that use KYC (Know Your Customer) client verification will not process transactions with suspicious cryptocurrencies. On regulated platforms, your crypto wallet may be blocked.
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In the case of using a “dirty” cryptocurrency, you may face high fines. Under the Anti-Money Laundering Policy (AMLD5 and AMLD6), cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets that do not comply with the AML policy may be required to pay fines that can reach up to around 200,000 euros.

Even if you did not realize that your cryptocurrency was “dirty”, you will still have to pay a fine. Therefore, if you want to protect your wallet and crypto assets, you need to be sure that your crypto funds are clean and legal in order to avoid negative consequences.

Cryptocurrency exchanges may also disclose information about your cryptocurrency wallet to regulators. Even if you can prove that your cryptocurrency was not involved in money laundering, your digital assets may be confiscated.
What to do if you receive a dirty cryptocurrency to your address
The first thing we can definitely advise you is not to panic.
If you received a dirty cryptocurrency to your address by accident, namely:
  • you did not conduct transactions with this address before the current incident
  • you don’t know the reason for getting dirty tokens
  • you did not make any OTC transactions, according to which you did not plan to receive other people’s funds
You are required to DO NOT carry out further transactions with these funds, since you most likely have no evidence that could disprove the fact that the cryptocurrency does not belong to you.
Also, you need:
Report an incident
Contact local law enforcement or regulatory authorities to report receipt of dirty funds. This will help launch an investigation and take appropriate action to protect you and your business.
Cooperate with authorities
Provide all necessary information and cooperate with law enforcement during the investigation. This will help you and the authorities trace the source of dirty funds and take appropriate action.
Get legal advice
Speak to a legal professional for advice on your rights and possible consequences when dealing with dirty products. He will help you understand the legal side of the situation and take appropriate action.
Follow the recommendations of the authorities
It is important to follow the guidelines and instructions provided to you by law enforcement or regulatory authorities. This will help you comply with the law and minimize possible consequences.
If you received a dirty cryptocurrency during the exchange:
Specify the legality and the possibility of a return
Before sending crypto back to the sender, make sure you are legally eligible for a refund. Some jurisdictions may have specific rules and laws governing cryptocurrency refunds.
Collect all information about the incident
It is important to document all transaction-related details, including transaction hashes, timestamps, messages, and documentation of the unwanted nature of the received cryptocurrency. This may be useful for subsequent investigations and evidence.
After collecting all the necessary evidence, you can contact law enforcement agencies
If you know that the funds received are related to criminal activity, you can contact regulators or law enforcement and report the incident. They can provide guidance and support regarding the correct procedures and next steps.
All of the above steps can help
keep your cryptocurrency clean
In conclusion, we would like to note that participation in money laundering using cryptocurrency can lead to the initiation of a criminal case and bring you to criminal liability. Money laundering is a serious crime and law enforcement agencies deal strictly with such violations. Be careful and avoid engaging in illegal activities related to the use of cryptocurrencies.
Well, again, you can find out the riskiness of cryptocurrency and protect yourself from “dirty” tokens with our service →
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