The city of Vancouver, Canada, is considering banning bitcoin (BTC) automated teller machines (ATMs) due to money laundering issues.
The mayor of Vancouver, Kennedy Stewart, has reportedly suggested a complete ban on bitcoin ATMs in connection with the increasing number of money laundering cases. A police report cited by the Next Web claim that criminals could purchase a bitcoin ATM for their own needs for a few thousand dollars, and then deposit their cash into that ATM “as many times as required” to profit from or eliminate the transaction fees.
Authorities reportedly expect to receive 840 reports related to digital currency this year, which is three times the number of reported produced last year. While Vancouver and Richmond city councils have pushed for action, the province of British Columbia is going to hold a money laundering inquiry to investigate further.
According to industry monitoring resource CoinATMRadar, there are 694 cryptocurrency ATMs in Canada, with 76 in Vancouver, at press time.
Last month, in Spain eight people were arrested for allegedly laundering money by exchanging fiat currency to crypto assets. The individuals reportedly used cryptocurrency ATMs and split funds into smaller sums to introduce them into the financial system without having the transactions reported as suspicious.
As reported in January, United States bitcoin ATM operator Coinme — the first bitcoin ATM operator to receive a license in the U.S. in 2014 — entered a partnership to sell bitcoin at coin counting kiosks owned by Coinstar.