For over 18 years, Anurag Jain has worked with Infosys, KPMG, TCS, Oracle, Metric Steam, and many other big names in the tech world as a Financial Crime Compliance (FCC) expert. 

Today, he is building Entity Vector—a financial advisory firm to help fintech startups and companies comply with the regulatory requirements of the FCC. 

In a conversation with The Decrypting Story, Anurag shares his thoughts on the ever-expanding and ever-evolving worlds of centralised and decentralised finance. 

Edited excerpts from the interview:

Decrypting Story [DS]: What is the scope of financial crimes in the crypto world, especially when the sector is yet to be fully explored?

Anurag Jain [AJ]: The crypto market is still in its infancy, although its market cap has seen a 10X jump over the last two years. 

Between 2020-22, cryptocurrency’s market cap went from half-a-trillion dollars to about $2 trillion, demonstrating widespread market adoption of cryptocurrencies that generate tremendous value for consumers and the economy. 

However, for consumers, investors, and business partners, many financial crime risks are associated with it—ranging from money laundering to data theft to ransomware attacks.

The financial crime compliance market within the crypto world is very nascent, where regulations and market structures are yet to be developed and defined properly.

As the market matures, so will the Modus Operandi of perpetrators to launder money quickly, anonymously, and across borders, thereby increasing the demand for financial crime compliance experts to safeguard crypto stakeholders from suspicious activities. 

Financial crime compliance services can be categorised into four key domains: cybersecurity, anti-money laundering, fraud risk management, and data privacy and protection.

DS: How should people react to the ever-expanding world of DeFi and fintech? Should we be apprehensive about it or embrace it?

AG: I would be slightly biased in my opinion since I am a practitioner in the risk and compliance industry. I would urge consumers to err on the precautionary side and look for regulatory or government guidance. 

Our regulators are at the forefront of this development, and they are taking the necessary steps to protect the consumers in every possible way. 

However, this is still a development in progress, so one must practice caution during the early development stage.