Law enforcement officials have tracked alarmingly increasing criminal activities centering on crypto ATMs. In fact, fraudsters are largely involved in cashing in on BTC transactions across the US.
Bitcoin ATM installation has become more persuasive since the outbreak of COVID-19. Not to mention, Coin ATM Radar counted a mere 4212 ATMs in January 2020.
However, the total number managed to skyrocket in recent times all over the USA states. Currently, more than 26,000 cryptocurrency ATMs are present in the country. The installed machines are mostly installed within private company premises as well as convenience stores.
A Bitcoin ATM allows interested customers to buy BTC alongside other cryptos using cash. The customer eventually receives the purchased currency in his/her digital wallet.
Well-known companies like Walmart, Circle K & others have already started installing the machines. Of course, the convenient process maintains a largely anonymous transaction all the way.
And criminals are looking into committing drug trafficking & money laundering using convenience.
FBI issued a warning last week of fraud schemes through ATMs and QR (Quick Response) codes. The bureau already made a public service announcement to explain the scams. Scammers can use QR codes in Bitcoin ATMs to direct the payments to a specific recipient.
Crypto ATM operators must register with the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. But the legislation isn’t exactly precise to take any bold actions.
Lisa Cialino, a New Jersey State Commission of Investigation counsel talked on the issue. Even the owners/operators unable to do anything under the Bank Secrecy Act is the most alarming – she said.
Likewise, crypto platforms are looking into settling the transactions through different means. But the approach remains divided in terms of using KYC (know your customer) pieces.
However, companies are trying to establish universal compliance standards to crack down on fraud. DigitalMint has recently launched a Cryptocurrency Compliance Cooperative.
It’s a somewhat new industry with loose standards and minimal control from the government. Hopefully, high-profile enforcement actions are on the way to stop exploiting the ATMs.