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Crypto exchanges Coinbase, Gemini and others to fight human trafficking

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Major crypto exchanges Coinbase, Paxful, Gemini, and Bitfinex have joined the Anti-Human Trafficking Cryptocurrency Consortium, or ATCC, a nonprofit which works with crypto exchanges, blockchain analytics firms and law enforcement to combat human trafficking and child sexual abuse material (CSAM). As members of ATCC, exchanges will monitor crypto transactions to detect information associated with human trafficking which they will also share with other ATCC members as well as law enforcement officials. 

The Anti-Human Trafficking Intelligence Initiative launched ATCC in April this year. Its Founder, Aaron Kahler, stated that they were positioning organizations to play an active role in the “prevention, detection and reporting of human trafficking and child exploitation.” He added that the Anti-Human Trafficking Intelligence Initiative and the ATCC were developing comprehensive programs, training, data, and tools catered to combatting the aforementioned issues.

In addition to this, the senior director of global intelligence at Coinbase exchange, John Kothanek, said that ATCC efforts aligned with Coinbase’s beliefs in fighting illicit activities. He revealed that Coinbase was involved with other groups as well that help identify illicit flows of criminal money from not only human trafficking, but also ransomware, fentanyl sales, and money laundering.

Meanwhile, leading crypto and blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis, which is an ATCC member, had tracked roughly $930,000 worth of BTC and ETH transactions to addresses associated with CSAM sites in 2019. As seen in the image below, transactions under $250,000 worth of BTC and ETH were traced to CSAM providers, between January and March this year.

Image Source: Chainalysis

Although crypto transactions associated to CSAM actors have dipped this year, a recent report from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network stated that human traffickers still use “convertible” cryptocurrencies to hide illicit proceeds.


Alisha is a full-time journalist at AMBCrypto. Her interests lie in blockchain technology, crypto-crimes, and market developments in Africa and the United States
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