The cryptocurrency conundrum: the emerging role of digital currencies in geopolitical conflicts

Milind Tiwari, Cayle Lupton, Ausma Bernot, Khaled Halteh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This paper aims to investigate technological innovations within the crypto space that have engendered novel financial crime risks and their potential utilization amidst geopolitical conflicts. Design/methodology/approach: The theoretical paper uses an analysis of recent geopolitical events, with a key focus on using cryptocurrencies to undertake illicit activities. Findings: The study found that cryptocurrencies and the innovations made within the crypto domain are used for both legitimate and illicit purposes, including money laundering, terrorism financing and sanction evasion. Originality/value: This research contributes to understanding the critical role cryptocurrencies play amidst geopolitical conflicts and emphasizes the need for regulatory considerations to prevent their misuse. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this paper is the first scholarly contribution that considers the evolving mechanisms afforded by cryptocurrencies amidst geopolitical conflicts in undertaking illicit activities.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Financial Crime
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Financial crime
  • Money laundering
  • Sanction evasion
  • Terrorism financing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Economics,Econometrics and Finance
  • Law


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