European Journal of Law and Economics

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 233–254 | Cite as

Cryptocurrency or usury? Crime and alternative money laundering techniques

  • Raffaella Barone
  • Donato MasciandaroEmail author


The article presents a novel dynamic setting to compare old—usury—and new—cryptocurrency—money laundering techniques and uses it for calibration to shed light on their relative role as an effective device for the criminal organizations to clean their illegal revenues. The specialness of the usury contract depends on its role in laundering illegal revenues originating from criminal activities and it is independent from the interest rate level, while the cryptocurrency money laundering is associated with an initial coin offering tool. The calibration compares the leverage effect on the overall capital owned by the criminal organizations triggered by the two money laundering techniques.


Crime Money laundering Cryptocurrency Usury Banking 

JEL Classification

K40 K42 K14 G18 



Funding was provided by FIR projec (Grant No. DBLV3J3).


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bocconi UniversityMilanItaly

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