A famous banking whistleblower, Herve Falciani, is set to launch a cryptocurrency to help fight against money laundering and fraud, according to a report by Reuters on Friday, February 8.
Former HSBC whistleblower turns to crypto to fight against money laundering and fraud
Falciani, who has been living in a self-imposed exile in Spain, is currently working with Spanish academics and fintech experts on a digital currency he believes regulators could accept. Falciani was a former HSBC systems engineer who leaked client data that led to a series of high-profile tax investigations.
Tax-dodgers, shady businesses, hackers, and criminals all make use of cryptocurrencies to hide their transactions. Falciani aims to launch an ethical cryptocurrency dubbed Tabu, which will be traceable thanks to a certificate indicating its clean record.
“What happens with any innovation or any technology is that it can be used in a bad way or may be used in a friendly way with a social impact, positive social impact,” said Falciani in an interview with Reuters. Falciani believes that the technology behind cryptocurrencies, the blockchain, can add transparency to electronic transactions. This feature will make blockchain very useful in the fight against money laundering and fraud.
A non-profit entity, Tactical Whistleblowers, will develop the cryptocurrency. The group was founded by Falciani and is made up of academics from the Valencia Polytechnic University in eastern Spain.
Renewed public attention generates investor interest in Tabu
Last year, the Spanish high court rejected Switzerland’s second extradition request for Falciani. According to the whistleblower, the renewed attention in his case helped generate investor interest in his cryptocurrency. “If it wasn’t for that, you wouldn’t have heard about the cryptocurrency project I was into,” he said.
At the moment, there are 5 million Tabu tokens available to be offered to investors, valued around 2 million euros. The tokens will be distributed to investors once the team gets approval from the Spanish market regulator.
Falciani revealed that he is set to launch a new blockchain-based initiative to help cross-check electronic procurement contracts for public administrations. The electronic procurement contracts have been afflicted with overbilling and other fraudulent activities in several countries across the globe, and Falciani believes blockchain technology could tackle those problems.
Speaking of the new blockchain initiative called Aletheia, Falciani said, “Technically and financially, this opens the doors to improve the procurement systems. Because in public procurement we have a huge opportunity to spare money.” He added that the initiative was inspired by the SWIFT system for interbank money transfers and messaging.
Falciani believes it is critical to deal with fake news since fake information is the starting point of any kind of fraud.