According to a report published by The Next Web on 5 June, the mayor of Vancouver has suggested a complete ban on Bitcoin ATMs, keeping in sight money laundering issues. This was followed by the city’s police labeling these ATMs ‘ideal money laundering vehicles.’
The report stated that Vancouver’s city council has already started regulating the usage of cryptocurrency ATMs with the help of a bylaw since January this year. This requires the operates to have business licenses and getting their identities verified. The operators are also required to warn users against the possible kinds of fraud.
However, after all this coming into effect since the beginning of this year, the police still maintains and warns that local fraudsters have been using these ATMs and cryptocurrencies for illegal purposes like laundering money.
Authorities also expect to receive around 840 cryptocurrency related reports this year, which is a 300 percent increase since 2018, the report says.
Of the total 72 ATMs in Vancouver, many have a number of restrictions imposed on usage. However, there are quite a number of them which do not have any limits imposed on them.
The money laundering trouble has become acute as police observe shocking criminal activities that these ATMs can promote:
‘… criminals could simply purchase a Bitcoin ATM themselves for a few thousand dollars. They would then deposit all their cash into that ATM “as many times as required” to either profit from or eliminate the transaction fees – effectively washing money for free.’
According to the report, the province of British Columbia is to hold an inquiry to investigate further into these matters. This inquiry is supported by Vancouver and Richmond city council who have confirmed taking action on this issue. Earlier this year in March, Canadian Securities Administrators and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada together proposed a framework for the regulation of cryptocurrencies.