Canada’s Vancouver City Mayor Wants to Ban Bitcoin ATMs
The Canadian city of Vancouver is reportedly considering a ban on all bitcoin (BTC) automated teller machines due to what the Next Web reports as increased concern about money laundering.
According to the publication, Vancouver mayor Kennedy Stewart has supposedly proposed that the city institutes a blanket ban on bitcoin ATMs due to their increased use in a growing number of alleged money laundering cases.
The Next Web cites the police as stating in a report that criminals could easily acquire a bitcoin ATM for personal use.
The police noted in their report that an ATM would only cost a criminal “a few thousand dollars,” but with it, the criminal can deposit their illicitly acquired cash “as many times as [they wish] and go on to profit from the illegal transactions.
The user would also reportedly benefit from eliminating the need to pay transaction fees.
Authorities expect nearly 840 reports touching on the crypto sector this year, reportedly three times more the number of such reports handed to authorities in 2018.
The city councils of both Vancouver and Richmond have in recent months upped their push for action against digital currencies, especially with regard to the use of ATMs. However, the province of British Columbia wants to conduct additional investigations on the issue of money laundering before taking further steps.
According to crypto data monitoring platform CoinATMRadar, Canada is home to 694 crypto ATMs at the moment. About 76 of these are located in the city of Vancouver.
Elsewhere, Spanish authorities arrested eight people last month for supposedly laundering money using cryptocurrency. The suspects allegedly changed fiat currency into crypto using cryptocurrency ATMs.
They reportedly split funds into small amounts before introducing the money into the financial system to avoid being detected as suspicious.
Earlier this year, U.S.-based crypto ATM operator Coinme partnered coin-counting kiosk operator Coinstar to allow the public to purchase bitcoins at Coinstar kiosks. Incidentally, Coinme was the first bitcoin ATM company to get regulatory approval when it received its license in 2014.
The New York Department of Financial Services also granted bitcoin ATM vendor Coinsource the BitLicense, allowing it to offer its services to residents of the Empire State.
Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets and are very risky investments. Do your research and consult an investment professional before investing. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. Never borrow money to invest in cryptocurrencies.