TECH/LAW: Costs of Money Laundering Laws

From: Chris Rasch (
Date: Sun Mar 11 2001 - 14:31:43 MST

There's an decent overview of gold-backed digital currencies at this

Research Study 24 - Digital Money & Its Impact On Gold
World Gold Council
Richard W. Rahn
Bruce R. MacQueen
Margaret L. Rogers (Novecon Financial Ltd)
Published by Centre for Public Policy Studies,
World Gold Council,
45 Pall Mall,
London SW1Y 5JG, UK.
Tel +44(0)20.7930.5171
Fax +44(0)20.7839.6561

An interesting quote from the article:

"...When considering potential action against money laundering vis
digital systems, it needs to be remembered that existing efforts against
money laundering, primarily by the US and major European governments,
have not proven very cost effective. For instance, in the US in 1998,
only 932 people were convicted of money laundering, yet the cost to the
private and public sectors of the anti-money laundering efforts were
more than 10 billion dollars, which comes out to more than 10 million
dollars per conviction. The distinguished British law professor, Barry
Rider, has calculated that the British state has been able to take out
0.004 per cent of the criminal money that has flowed through London. 6
Money launderers do not have a statistically significant chance of being
caught and losing the profits from their misdeeds, and hence the
deterrent effect of such laws is negligible...."

6 Barry Rider. The Crusade Against Money Laundering -Time to Think!
European Journal of Law Review,vol.1,no.4 (1999),p.515.

Rahn also cites another interesting article on patents and digital

Altered States:Electronic Commerce and Owning the Means of Value
Robert D.Fram,Margaret Jane Radin,Thomas P.Brown,
Stanford Technology Law Review 2 (1999).

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