Nouriel Roubini, who is a noted economist and someone who has long been critic of digital currencies, is claiming that there is "rampant fraud and abuse" in the cryptocurrency industry. He singled out the BitMEX exchange in particular.

On July 16, Roubini, who is a professor at New York University's Stern School of Business, penned an opinion piece entitled "The Great Crypto Heist," which Project Syndicate published. In the piece, Roubini says that various anonymous sources from within BitMEX have told him that criminal elements are performing large-scale money laundering at the exchange. He further says that these criminal elements include terrorists.

According to Roubini's sources, the criminals operate out of a number of countries, including Iran and Russia. The sources also allege that the exchange knows that these criminals are laundering money on a daily basis but is doing nothing to prevent it.

Roubini went on to say in the opinion piece that he believes that BitMEX is in violation of U.S. security laws by virtue of the fact that it is skirting not only anti-money laundering laws but also know-your-customer regulations. He says this is true because the only means the exchange uses to identify a customer's country of origin is through their IP address, which people have been known to manipulate through various strategies, such as virtual private networks (VPNs). He called the exchange's lack of due diligence in this matter "brazen."

Roubini further called on U.S. government authorities to enforce the laws and do something about BitMEX. He noted that Steven Mnuchin, who is the U.S. treasury secretary, has already claimed that illegal activities dominate the digital currency markets.

The opinion piece cited a number of studies to back up Roubini's claims of widespread fraud in the cryptocurrency industry. One of these studies indicated that as much as 95% of Bitcoin transactions are fraudulent. Another study asserted that 80% of all initial coin offerings (ICOs) were nothing but scams. Though what Roubini did not point out was that, while there was rampant fraud in the ICO market, only a little more than 10% of all money raised through the ICOs mentioned in the study went to fraudulent offerings.