Money laundering is a technique used for illegal businesses to hide their money from the authorities.
Typically, money laundering is used by those involved in scams and other criminal activities to conceal their cash flows and source of income. Money laundering schemes have been around since the 1930s, and began as a practice to cover up alcohol sales during the Prohibition era in the United States. The main purpose of money laundering is to hide money from banks and the authorities using shell companies, offshore banks and other fraudulent fronts. Those engaged in money laundering may often purchase valuables like art and luxury goods to avoid having to declare their money.
When it comes to cryptocurrencies, many politicians around the world have started to label cryptocurrencies as a form of money laundering. In 2021, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey banned crypto assets from being used as a source of payment, citing criminality and fraud. These anti-cryptocurrency AML laws have popped up around the world in other nations like North Macedonia, Bolivia, Algeria in an increased effort for governments to regulate and restrict cryptocurrencies.