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Danske Bank’s Money Laundering Activity Overshadows Crypto’s

November 12, 2019
Ross Peili


Danske Bank’s Money Laundering Activity Overshadows Crypto’s

Newly surfaced documents subjecting the Danish banking institution’s mischievous policies to provide anonymity to ‘black money’ billionaires, including several Russian oligarchs during the past years. 

Financial media outlet Bloomberg who had a look at the documents confirmed that a sum of over $220b USD worth of funds were laundered by a Danske Bank branch in Estonia starting as soon as 2012, as the documents reveal.  

It is said that the branch was already transferring billions of dollars to offshore accounts on behalf of their wealthy international clients, but they decided to take it a step further, now offering gold bars and rare coins to the ‘selective group’ of customers.  

Among the documents, the initial ‘pitch’ dated back to 2012 was found, where the branch essentially explained to their clients how and why gold could offer them anonymity and portability of funds acquired by ‘unknown means’.

One could obviously presume that this was a legal offering that provided legal gold to clients in exchange for fiat currency, but a Danske Bank representative not only failed to mention gold bars as an option for clients during a 2018 report but he also declined to comment when asked about it, making the operation stink from a mile away. 

They say Bitcoin has been used in ML activity – Dankse showcases ML activity worth as much as the whole Bitcoin market combined.

$220bn is not a child’s play, and while financial watchdogs are bashing Bitcoin and Monero, among other decentralized digital currencies for being ‘volatile’ and in some scenarios even categorize them as tools for money-laundering operations and other illegal activities, they seem to be ‘cool’ with a major ‘legal’ bank laundering under the table a  typical sum that in terms of cryptocurrencies would be equivalent to Bitcoin’s whole market capitalization globally.

Obviously, a major financial institution like Danske Bank, who might have probably already laundered over a trillion worth of USD, considering that the $220b that were caught and given away by the Estonian authorities were just a part of the local branch, could easily pay its ‘way out’ of this kind of sticky situation.    

While it is yet unclear how much gold has been used to launder illegally acquired funds by Danske Bank overall, both EU and US authorities are now investigating the matter, and have found out that the Austrian mint was one of the main suppliers of the bars, while Danske who acted as an intermediate broker, charged a fee that ranged anywhere between 0.5% and 4% depending on the magnitude of each ‘order’.


We live in an era, where cryptocurrencies are no longer considered a ‘scam’ by banks, but in fact, several central banks are planning on issuing their own centralized digital currencies running on blockchain, in an attempt to stay relevant in the future of the economy, despite Bitcoin’s dominance over the last decade. 

While this sounds positive and fancy, attracting traditional and skeptic investors who would only trust a ‘legal authority’ to tell them what money really is, the recent revelations regarding Danske Bank’s shady activities should be a reminder of what banks really have in mind, and a central bank digital currency would not give them a change of heart anytime soon.