Some (hypothetical) questions about using crypto to launder money

Simcom

New Member
Apr 3, 2014
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I was listening to NPR recently and they had some figures about how much drug money is laundered across the border from the US to Mexico each year. They said the US border patrol seizes 150 million USD each year trying to enter Mexico, and an estimated 18 billion is smuggled across the border each year.

So obviously trying to smuggle money across the border is risky for those involved, and risky for the cartels because the money is sometime seized (although from those figures only ~1% is seized surprisingly).

Wouldn't it be easier for them to send bitcoin (or maybe DRK) to mexico? The biggest problem I can see is that they need a way to convert cash to bitcoin in bulk (and preferably anonymously). How could this be done do you think? Do you think there is there a market for middlemen that buy from coinbase etc and trade locally and in bulk for cash? It seems like these middlemen could have problems with the IRS because bank accounts are so transparent and this cash needs to be deposited in a bank account to be sent back to coinbase. Also do you think DRK has any advantage over bitcoin if used in this process?