BEGIN India Think Tank to help government in tracking crypto abuse

Reported by: |Updated: February 18, 2021

The Government of India is serious about implementing crypto forensics software tools for strengthening anti-money laundering systems in banks and financial services institutions by creating its own regulation and tracking capability. It is now examining a possible collaboration with crypto forensics pioneers BEGIN India Think Tank and its technology operations partner Human Star so that it can effectively track crypto abuse in tax evasion, money laundering and terror funding.

Deepak Kapoor, Founder, BEGIN India Think Tank, said his firm is already in advanced discussions with state and central agencies for training law enforcement officers in the basics of cryptocurrency tracking and evidence gathering. With its technology tie-ups with world leaders and collaborations with global agencies like the United Nations, BEGIN India Think Tank is currently the only one with such capability in India, he added.

Kapoor said his organization is working closely with the Government of India and state governments and training of senior officials of finance departments will soon start. The firm has devised structured programs which are capable of brushing up the subject with functional knowledge and SOPs, he said, adding case studies and globally benchmarked models of investigating crypto crimes are discussed to give a real-world view.

Kapoor pointed out that loopholes exploited by crypto exchanges have resulted in a colossal loss to the public exchequer, including losses on account of GST evasion, creating black money and money laundering. “Such leaks can only be prevented when there is knowledge of such transactions. Crypto being an invisible phenomenon and with zero tracking capability, the losses are mounting as volumes keep growing and unscrupulous people evade more and more taxes thus hurting the national economy,” he added.

He pointed out that lack of tracking capability within the financial institutions and the government is leading to rampant money laundering and the government needs to develop technology capability in tracking cryptocurrency transactions.

In order to control cryptocurrency and the maladies it causes, Kapoor suggested that there should be clear definition of cryptocurrency and creation of boundaries around it, ban it as a medium of exchange and allow only the trading of crypto as an asset class via investments and classify it as an asset class and be treated as stocks.