Bitcoin ATMs Show Gap in EU’s Money Laundering Rules, Police Say
12 Jul 2019

A Spanish effort to prosecute a gang that used Bitcoin automated cash machines suspected of being a front for illegal-drug payments has exposed a hole in European anti-money-laundering controls, law-enforcement authorities in the country said.

Rules designed to force money handlers to vet their clients don’t apply to the cash machines’ owners or to cryptocurrency trading platforms, according to drug-enforcement officials from the Civil Guard, a type of police in Spain.

Bitcoin ATMs are a relatively new phenomenon and are spreading rapidly. There are more than 5,400 machines installed worldwide, a number that has grown by more than half over the past year, according to Coin ATM Radar, a website that tracks the industry. Of those, 89 are in Spain. In the U.S., crypto ATMs have proliferated at corner stores, casinos and smoke shops. Their owners, like those in Spain, don’t have to comply with strict anti-money-laundering regulations.

By Todd White and Charlie Devereux, Bloomberg, 11 July 2019

Read more at Bloomberg

Photo: Ajay Suresh [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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