Law firm raises alarm after saying it will accept cryptocurrencies

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has said it is now accepting fee payments in bitcoin and in other cryptocurrencies arguing that while many law firms have balked at allowing payments by virtual currencies, the payments are transparent and instantaneous owing to blockchain verification. However, anti-corruption campaigners and other lawyers have raised alarm that this may pave the way for criminal money laundering due to potential difficulties with tracing the source of funds. Ava Lee, a campaigner at transparency advocacy group Global Witness, said: “As probably best exemplified by the Panama Papers the law industry is one of the most susceptible and at risk of enabling the laundering of suspicious funds.” She added: “The jury is still out as to whether cryptocurrencies make it significantly easier to launder money but there have certainly been a number of cases where cryptocurrencies have been used for this kind of criminal activity.”

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