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How much illegal activity is financed through digital currencies?

Industry Partnership Grant


Sean Foley


Project Summary

The use of digital currencies, including Bitcoin, has grown exponentially in the last 5 years. Bitcoin now has a market capitalization exceeding $38bn AUD – putting it on par with the 10 largest listed companies in Australia, just above Woolworths and Macquarie Bank. However, much evidence exists that this currency is predominantly used for illegal purposes – the purchase of goods and services on the “Dark net”. This research project utilises techniques from market microstructure for the identification of insider trading and market manipulation (Detection Controlled Estimation) as well as network graph theory to estimate the fraction of Bitcoin utilized for such illicit purposes.



$44,996 (AUD)

Business School staff