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Nasdaq’s 2023 Report Reveals $3.1 Trillion in Illicit Global Financial Transactions

In a recent revelation by Nasdaq, their “Global Financial Crime Report” for 2023 has brought to light the staggering amount of illicit funds circulating in the global financial system. The report estimates that approximately $3.1 trillion was involved in various illegal activities, emphasizing the ongoing challenge of financial crime.

Key Findings of the Nasdaq Report

The report delves into the specifics of these illicit transactions, uncovering that a significant portion, amounting to $782.9 billion, was linked to drug trafficking. Human trafficking also contributed a substantial amount, with $346.7 billion involved. Additionally, the report identified about $11.5 billion used in terrorist financing. Other financial crimes, including fraud scams and bank fraud schemes, accounted for $485.6 billion in 2023.

Financial Institutions at the Forefront

Adena Friedman, Nasdaq’s chair and CEO, stressed the pivotal role of financial institutions in combating these crimes. She acknowledged their long-standing involvement in this battle but also recognized that they cannot tackle this issue single-handedly. Friedman emphasized the need for a collective effort, stating, “No single company, industry, technology, or government is going to solve the complex problem of financial crime alone. We all have a responsibility — to ourselves and to the world — to be part of the solution.”

Tether’s CEO Calls for Cooperative Action

Echoing Friedman’s sentiments, Paolo Ardoino, CEO of Tether, expressed his concerns about the multitrillion-dollar issue. He highlighted Tether’s ongoing collaboration with law enforcement agencies worldwide to freeze addresses and wallets linked to criminal activities. Ardoino urged other legacy financial institutions to adopt a similar cooperative approach.

Stablecoins in the Spotlight

In related news, a Chainalysis report dated January 18 pointed out that within the cryptocurrency sector, stablecoins have become increasingly popular among criminals, surpassing the illicit transaction volume of Bitcoin, Ether, and other altcoins in 2022 and 2023.

The Role of Banks and Institutions

Gabor Gurbacs, Director of Digital Assets Strategy at VanEck, noted on a social media platform that the Nasdaq report did not mention Bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies, or stablecoins. He suggested that traditional banks and financial institutions are the primary channels for these criminal transactions.


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