Dawes Centre for Future Crime at UCL


Policy brief: Cryptocurrencies and future crime

Cryptocurrencies are a form of digital or virtual currency that have become increasingly popular since Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency, launched in 2009.

Download the policy brief (PDF)

Cryptocurrencies have a number of features which make them an attractive target for criminal activity. In the first five months of 2020, crypto thefts, hacks, and frauds totalled $1.36 billion. This briefing sets out the findings of a ‘problem scenario’ identification and ranking exercise of crimes that could be facilitated by cryptocurrencies. Seven cryptocurrency-based crimes which could be achieved now or in the future are identified and ranked in relation to the level of harm they can or could cause.

Lead researchers: Eray Arda Akartuna, Florian Hetzel and Dr Bennett Kleinberg (UCL Security and Crime Science).

Funder & Key Contributors: This work was carried out by the Dawes Centre for Future Crime at UCL. This briefing was produced in partnership with Florence Greatrix at UCL STEaPP’s Policy Impact Unit. The research was funded by the Dawes Centre for Future Crime at UCL.

Output type:
Policy briefing

More details of the research and links to research publications are available here.