Bitcoin ATMs Serve as Money Laundering Vehicles
Although an increasing number of countries around the world are steadily warming up to cryptocurrencies, its critics are in no mood to concede ground just yet.
In a somewhat discouraging development for the crypto community, Vancouver’s police force has called bitcoin ATMs an “ideal money laundering vehicle.” What’s more, the city’s mayor has even suggested imposing a ban on such machines.
However, putting a blanket ban will by no means be an easy task for the anti-Bitcoin camp as lobbyists and business groups in the Canadian city have instead asked for the extension of federal regulation over bitcoin ATMs.
It’s worth highlighting that earlier in 2019 Vancouver’s city council passed a bylaw to oversee the usage and operations of cryptocurrency ATMs in the city. The ordinance made it compulsory for owners of crypto-related ventures to hold business licenses, verify identities, and even warn users of common frauds prevalent in the nascent industry.
Despite the aforementioned prevention measures, the local police feel that fraudsters have been able to use digital currencies and bitcoin ATMs to launder money without any hindrance.
Christine Duhaime, a Vancouver-based lawyer who advises firms on anti-money-laundering (AML) measures, said:
“Vancouver definitely has connections to, unfortunately, digital currencies being used for nefarious purposes.”
“But on the other side, it also (includes) legitimate businesses where they’re trying to get regulations to operate more legitimately.”
Law authorities in Vancouver expect to receive close to 840 reports on digital currencies in 2019, a staggering 300 percent increase compared to the previous year.
International bodies and banks have often accused cryptocurrencies of being a convenient vehicle to launder money, and recent events only solidify their claims. Earlier in the year, BTCManager reported how the founder of the cryptocurrency exchange Coinflux was extradited from Romania to the U.S. for money laundering.