Money and the Shadow. Going beyond the law and the boundaries of ethics. Crime

The Money Research Institute analyses the main problems of confrontation between culture and anti-culture, defining the role of the phenomenon of money in this process, and studying the principles of sociodynamics. Particular emphasis is placed on the study of the incentive power of money to commit unlawful acts, examining the socio-economic, cultural and conflictological consequences of criminal activity.

How can digital currency crime be tackled?

Digital currency is electronic money that has no physical medium and is stored in special electronic wallets. Digital currencies can be of different types: virtual currencies, which have no official status and are not under the control of state authorities, and central bank digital currencies (CBDC), which are legal tender and are issued under the control of national regulators.

Digital currencies have a number of advantages over traditional money: they provide fast, convenient and low cost transactions and increase financial inclusion for people who do not have access to banking services. However, digital currencies also face a number of challenges and risks related to security, privacy, stability and regulation.

One major concern is the use of digital currencies to commit crimes such as money laundering, terrorist financing, tax evasion, fraud and cyberattacks.

According to the International Financial Institute (IIF), illicit transactions in digital currencies amounted to around $10 billion in 2020. Virtual currencies (Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies) are particularly anonymous and decentralised.

So how can digital currency crime be tackled? There are different approaches to this issue in different countries.

Some states prohibit or restrict the circulation of virtual currencies, deeming them illegal or dangerous to the financial system. For example, China has banned all cryptocurrency transactions and launched its own digital yuan currency (DCEP), which allows the state to control all transactions and track user identities.

Other countries recognise the legal status of virtual currencies as property or goods and try to regulate them with specific regulations and mechanisms for identification, verification and monitoring.

Russia, for example, adopted the Federal Law on Digital Financial Assets and Digital Currency in 2020, which defines digital currency as other property and prohibits its use to pay for goods and services. However, the law does not regulate taxation, licensing and liability of digital currency operators.

There are international cooperation initiatives to combat the crime of digital currencies. For example, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision is developing standards to regulate the risks associated with banks’ exposure to digital currencies.

There is also the International Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF), which sets guidelines to prevent the misuse of digital currencies.

Thus, digital currency is a phenomenon that has both positive and negative aspects. In order to minimise the risks of criminality and maximise the benefits of innovation, effective regulatory mechanisms and international cooperation in this field must be developed.

Money in the criminal world

Money is one of the main motives behind criminal activity. The criminal world has its own particularities about money that differ from legitimate society.

Firstly, money in the criminal world is often illegal or “dirty”. This means that it is obtained as a result of breaking the law (drug dealing, theft, extortion, etc.).

Such money cannot be legally used or exchanged for goods and services in the regular market, so criminals have to “launder” their money, i.e. turn it into legal tender through various schemes and transactions. Money laundering is a crime in itself, which puts criminals at risk of being caught and punished.

Secondly, money in the criminal world is often an object of conflict and violence. Criminal gangs vie for control over sources of income. Money can also be the cause of betrayal, revenge or greed within criminal organisations.

Criminals must be careful not to trust their partners or subordinates who may steal or turn them in for money. Money can also be used as a means of pressure or threat by law enforcement agencies or competitors.

Thirdly, money in the criminal world is often a symbol of status and power. Criminals seek enrichment not only for material prosperity, but also for recognition and respect in their environment.

Money allows them to show their success, to buy luxuries, to gain prestige and influence. Money can also be used for bribery, corruption or charity to gain the loyalty or support of others.

Money plays a huge role in the criminal world and has several significant aspects:

A medium of exchange. Money in the criminal environment is often used as a medium of exchange. It facilitates illegal transactions related to drugs, weapons, smuggling and prostitution.
Financing of criminal organisations. Money is a major source of funding for criminal organisations. Criminal groups are able to raise the proceeds of various criminal activities and use the money to expand their power and influence.
Money laundering mechanism. Criminal organisations often use sophisticated money laundering schemes to disguise the origin of illicit proceeds and legalise them.
A means of control and power. Money gives criminal leaders the ability to control their subordinates and influence the political, economic and social spheres. High financial wealth allows them to buy protection, influence government agencies and put pressure on witnesses and rivals.
Attracting accomplices. Criminal gangs use money to attract and retain accomplices. They may offer substantial financial rewards to motivate people to participate in criminal activities.

Thus, money plays an important role in the criminal world, but it also brings with it many risks and problems. Criminals must constantly fight for their money and protect it from enemies and the law.

The role of money in confronting culture and anti-culture

Money plays an important role in confronting culture and anti-culture, but this role is quite complex and contradictory.

On the one hand, money can be a tool to develop and support culture. Funding of cultural projects, museums, theatres, book publishers and other art and cultural institutions can help to disseminate and preserve cultural values.

Money makes it possible to attract talented artists, writers, poets, actors and other creative individuals, providing them with the means to develop their ideas and creative projects. In this sense, money serves to promote and support culture.

On the other hand, money can cause commercialisation and loss of the true value of culture. When cultural projects and art are subordinated to financial interests or market demands, they are removed from the context of their original purpose.

Success-oriented commercial thinking influences the content and form of art, pushing forward the commercially attractive and popular aspects. Deeper art is relegated to the background. As a result of this process, some cultural values are distorted or lost.

Money can create inequality of access to cultural goods. Expensive tickets to plays, museum exhibits or concerts can limit access to culture for people on low incomes, from disadvantaged social groups. This can lead to an anti-culture, where some people and groups feel excluded or alienated from cultural experiences that are controlled by money and financial interests.

In addition, money can be a source of influence and manipulation. Large corporations, wealthy donors or political powers can use their financial resources to shape cultural norms and values to suit their interests or ideology. This can lead to restrictions on diversity and freedom of expression in culture, as well as creating a climate of conformity and a monopoly of ideas.

Money can also be used to support anti-culture and protest art. Financial independence allows artists and creatives to express their ideas freely and criticise the system, sparking debate and drawing attention to social issues. Anticulture can serve as a means to break down established norms.

The role of money in confronting culture and anti-culture depends on the context and how it is used. Money can promote and preserve cultural values as well as lead to commercialisation and unequal access to culture. Culture and anti-culture also have the capacity to overcome the limitations of financial influence and maintain their autonomy and originality.

On the power of money to induce wrongdoing

Money is one of the most powerful incentives for human behaviour. It can help to achieve goals, develop skills, and improve quality of life. But money can also motivate wrongdoing, such as theft, fraud, corruption and violence.

One reason is greed. Greed is the excessive desire to enrich oneself and accumulate material wealth. A greedy person is not satisfied with what he has and always wants more. They do not value other aspects of life (relationships, health, spirituality). The greedy person is willing to break laws and moral standards for the sake of money. He doesn’t think about the consequences of his actions.

Another reason is despair. Despair is a state of hopelessness and hopelessness, when a person sees no way to solve his problems. A desperate person may commit unlawful acts because of lack of money, food, medicine, work or housing. He does not believe in his own abilities and does not trust other people. He doesn’t think about his future and his responsibility.

So how do you deal with the power of money to cause wrongdoing? There are several recommendations:

– Develop an appreciation for what you have and don’t compare yourself to others. Remember that money is not an end in itself, but a means to achieve important values.

– Set realistic goals that match your interests and abilities. Don’t be afraid to seek help from those close to you and professionals.

– Observe laws and ethical principles in your activities. Understand that illegal actions can have serious consequences.

– Invest in charities and social projects. Help those who need your help. Share your experience and knowledge with others.

Understanding the power of money to drive illegal actions helps to address the social, economic and moral aspects that can contribute to illegal behaviour.

Let’s use money to create a better world!

Could digital money decriminalise money?

Digital money, such as cryptocurrencies, can change the financial system and bring some changes to crime and money laundering. However, they cannot completely decriminalise money, as criminals will always be looking for ways to exploit new technologies and tools.

Let’s look at some aspects to consider when analysing the role of digital money in the decriminalisation process:

– Anonymity. Some cryptocurrencies offer a higher degree of anonymity and privacy (compared to traditional financial systems). This allows criminals to hide their financial transactions and facilitates money laundering. However, in recent years, regulators have worked hard to develop measures and tools to increase transparency and combat the illicit use of digital money.

– Technological footprints. The use of digital money does not guarantee complete security and anonymity. Cryptocurrency transactions are stored in public blockchains that can be analysed and used in forensic investigations. Technical capabilities and blockchain analysis techniques are constantly evolving, making it possible to detect and disrupt criminal activity involving digital money.

– Regulation and cooperation. In recent years, international organisations have increasingly focused on regulating cryptocurrencies and combating criminal activity associated with them.

They are introducing new regulatory and legal measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing through digital money. Closer cooperation between law enforcement agencies and technology companies is also helping to detect and disrupt criminal activity.

Digital money represents a new environment that has its own characteristics and challenges in the fight against crime.

It is important to develop regulation, technological tools and cooperation between different stakeholders to effectively combat criminal activity.