Money Laundering (ML) in the Digital Arts Market via Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs): Current problems and future prospects

Eligibility: UK/International (including EU) graduates with the required entry requirements

Funding details: Tuition fees and stipend

Duration: Full time - between three and three and a half years fixed term

Application deadline: 27 May 2023

Interview dates: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: September 2023

To find out more about the project, please contact Dr Dimitrios Kafteranis 


Coventry University (CU) is inviting applications from suitably-qualified graduates for a fully-funded PhD studentship.

Project details

For a long time, the art market was not adequately regulated in relation to its obligations under anti-money laundering (AML) regulations. Recently, several legal reforms, at the national, European and international levels, have added the art market (mainly traditional arts and antiquities) into AML regulatory framework, which among other things requires the art industry to submit suspicious activity reports to the relevant authorities. During these developments, the art industry observed the birth of digital arts including NFTs.

This new form of digital art trade allows users from all over the world to buy and trade digital art online. Huge value sales of NFTs have been recorded (for example, an NFT by Beeple was sold for USD 69.3 million by Christie’s in 2021). Despite the expansion of NFTs, their legal status remains complex and uncertain in regards to whether and how AML rules apply when trading them. This situation offers a new global pathway for criminals to launder their illegal gains. Accordingly, the purpose of this project is two-fold:

  1. Critically analyse if and how NFTs can be exploited for ML.
  2. Put forward proposals as to how NFTs should be regulated so that ML risks can be mitigated.


Tuition fees and stipend.


The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills.

All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities. 

Entry requirements

  • A bachelor’s (honours) degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum classification of 2:1 and a minimum mark of 60% in the project element (or equivalent), or an equivalent award from an overseas institution.
  • the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within 3.5 years
  • An adequate proficiency in English must be demonstrated by applicants whose first language is not English. The general requirement is a minimum overall IELTS Academic score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each of the four sections, or the TOEFL iBT test with a minimum overall score of 95 with a minimum of 21 in each of the four sections.

 For further details please visit:

How to apply

To find out more about the project please contact Dr Dimitrios Kafteranis

Details of all available research opportunities at Coventry University can be found via

All applications require full supporting documentation, a covering letter, plus an up-to 2000-word supporting statement is required showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project. 

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