IamA PhD in policy effectiveness/outcomes who has spent nearly a decade studying core underpinnings of the global anti-money laundering system, with analysis and new concepts tested by world-leading critical thinkers.


Hello AMA/EthTrader/Cryptocurrency communities, my name is Ron Pol. I’ve been quoted in US Senate testimony describing anti-money laundering laws arguably the least effective anti-crime initiative, ever. I wrote the following paper (picked up by the Economist and Forbes), and others, detailing profound failures in the global AML system:

The World’s Least Effective Policy Experiment – Together We Can Fix It. https://doi.org/10.1080/25741292.2020.1725366

A 1-para. satirical summary of the paper, in [my attempt at] the style of The Onion is here: https://www.effectiveaml.org/aml-laws-crushingly-effective/

As the cryptocurrency space gains more attention from regulators and calls to subject cryptocurrency users to more stringent AML rules grow louder, my research on the effectiveness of the AML system has become more relevant than ever to cryptocurrency users and advocates.

For example, there is, it seems to me, a huge “Trojan horse” risk, easily overlooked. While awareness of AML’s failure is growing in the AML community, regulators seldom admit it (at least publicly). So, the crypto community and public don’t know about the huge gap between AML rhetoric and reality, politicians have no incentive to face the real issues, and AML regulations keep metastasizing into more areas without addressing their own core failings.

Some of the hidden problems are outlined on a Gitcoin page. (It’s also a grant form so I’ve checked with r/EthTrader moderators it’s ok to post): https://gitcoin.co/grants/3380/effectiveamlorg-decentralize-knowledge

Please feel free to ask me anything you please.

Please note, this AMA does not offer legal or financial advice. Any matters discussed are purely academic, and you should not rely on any matters discussed hereunder as legal or financial advice.

More papers in the series are pinned to my Twitter profile, with an infographic: @ ronaldpol [Some give free access to the full paper, others to the full abstracts].

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