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LexisNexis Risk Solutions, Elliptic team up to fight illicit bitcoin uses

LexisNexis Risk Solutions, a company that provides banks with anti-money laundering (AML) controls, has collaborated with blockchain intelligence firm Elliptic in order to curtail the illicit uses of bitcoin in drug trafficking and terrorism financing, Reuters reported.

The companies have created a new service that would bring bank-grade AML controls to bitcoin transactions. This will make the digital currency more attractive to those who are interested in its legitimate use.

LexisNexis Risk Solutions is a part of RELX Group, a leading publisher and information provider that serves customers in more than 100 countries with more than 30,000 employees worldwide. With a database of 2.7 million global entities that could be involved in unlawful transactions, it helps banks comply with AML regulation. It has shared its database with Elliptic, which identifies illicit activity on the bitcoin blockchain and provides its services to the leading bitcoin companies and law enforcement agencies globally.

"This is a step towards making it (bitcoin) more mainstream and more acceptable," said Thomas Brown, of LexisNexis Risk Solutions. "Today, if you see bitcoins transacting, you almost assume they're from someone who wants to be off the grid, or they're proceeds from illicit transactions," said Brown.

In March, Elliptic announced that it raised $5 million in Series A funding, led by Paladin Capital Group and drawing support from Santander InnoVentures, KRW Schindler, Digital Currency Group and Octopus Ventures. Last month, the firm said it has partnered with the Internet Watch Foundation to crack down on the use of bitcoin for online child pornography.

"The single biggest thing keeping mainstream financial services out of the (bitcoin) ecosystem is the inability to do bank-grade anti-money laundering controls," Kevin Beardsley, Elliptic's head of business development, Reuters quoted."The hope is that this will unlock a whole wave of companies being able to enter financial services with bitcoin."

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