Some officials in Vancouver have taken aim at the city’s more than five dozen Bitcoin ATMs, with the mayor reportedly calling for a ban on the machines, The Star reports. The largely unregulated cryptocurrency ATMs have been criticized by Vancouver’s police as ideal vehicles for money laundering.
The warnings from law enforcement have not been limited to ATMs, however, as the Vancouver Police Department also expressed concerns last year that cryptocurrency itself is being used for illicit purposes. The department repeated those warnings again earlier this year.
Vancouver’s Bitcoin ATMs are found in many of the city’s most popular locations, including convenience stores, coffee shops, and malls – sites where traditional ATMs are often located as well. Unlike those automatic teller machines, however, there are no current anti-money laundering regulations covering Canada’s cryptocurrency ATMs.
Vancouver attorney Christine Duhaime acknowledged the problem, but suggested that many in the cryptocurrency industry would welcome sensible regulation:
“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.”