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Experts Suspect Tighter Regulations For Bitcoin ATMs

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Nigeria Launches Its First Bitcoin ATM
Nigeria Launches Its First Bitcoin ATM

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In recent times, experts have started to speculate that the world will employ stricter regulations on the Bitcoin ATMs (BATMs). As it stands now, countries like Germany and Canada are already moving to do just that, tightening up their Anti-Money Laundering (AML) measures across their respective nations.

A Key Point Of Concern

On the 2nd of June, 2020, CipherTrace reported that an estimated 74% of transactions made from BATMs based within the US, were being sent out of the country in the year of 2019. The report went further, discovering that 88% of the funds sent from the US crypto ATMs to various crypto exchanges, were then transferred overseas. This figure stands as an exponential growth from the years prior, having doubled annually since 2017.

John Jeffries, the CTO of Ciphertrace, had previously done an interview with Law360. Within this interview, Jeffries had predicted that BATMs would serve as a larger point of regulator focus in the future. He further emphasized that there stands a great need to hold uniform regulatory enforcement and compliance in regards to crypto ATMs, as well.

Canada Trying To Regulate

CipherTrace’s report was published a full two days after Canadian firms dealing with crypto had new regulations take effect, the Money Service Businesses going into full force.

Francis Pouliot stands as a member of the Bitcoin Foundation Canada, as well as the CEO of the BullBitcoin crypto exchange. In a recent tweet, he explained that this new legislation would primarily affect crypto firms that exchange crypto for cash.

Particularly, he explained that Bitcoin ATM operators would be hit the hardest with this new regulation. Pouliot explained that BATM operators are now mandated to report any and all transactions that are at or above 10,000 CAD in value.

Key Points Of Concern

The newly-amended Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act was passed during 2019. This came just as the Mayor of Vancouver, Kennedy Stewart, had tried to mandate a city-wide ban on BATMs within his jurisdiction. Stewart had cited money laundering concerns as the key reason for this move.

CoinATMradar, a data provider on the location of Crypto ATMs, stated that there are 778 crypto ATMs in operation within the country of Canada. To put it in perspective, that’s almost 10% of the global amount, currently at 7,958, of the Crypto ATMs worldwide.

Back in July of 2019, Spanish police highlighted the fact that Crypto ATMs served as a blind spot when it came to European AML regulations. This came after they identified a single local gang within the country that managed to launder approximately $10 million for Columbian drug traffickers, doing so through BATMs.

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