Since Vancouver police described Bitcoin ATMs as ‘an ideal money-laundering vehicle’, the  council are contemplating banning them. Drawback solved, eh?

Misinformation… Meet Knee-jerk Response

So Vancouver Mayor, Kennedy Stewart, has steered that town council will think about banning Bitcoin ATMs within the metropolis. In response to his spokesman, this:

got here out of data the VPD (Vancouver Police Division) has collected that indicated the ATMs have been getting used to launder cash.

On that foundation, the council also needs to be contemplating a ban on casinos, eating places, luxurious automotive gross sales, actual property, and (greater than anything) banks. However in fact, it couldn’t do this as a result of such a broad brush ignores all of the official companies in these sectors. Sadly, cryptocurrency isn’t afforded the identical consideration.

This is identical Mayor Kennedy Stewart that town web site proudly proclaims, ‘moved to Vancouver in 1989 with only $100 in his pocket and worked odd jobs like delivering beer… and playing in rock bands’. You’ve modified, man!

So What’s The Beef With Bitcoin ATMs?

The VPD report appears to focus on an increase in cryptocurrency-related information 12 months on 12 months. This could not precisely be surprising, as Bitcoin permeates additional into the mainstream. Cryptocurrency-related information are outlined as:

Frauds/extortions the place cost is taken from the sufferer in cryptocurrency and different crimes the place cost for legal items/providers is made in cryptocurrency.

Apparently the overwhelming majority of ‘cryptocurrency-related’ information revolve round fraudsters pretending to be from the Canadian Income Company (CRA). The sufferer is instructed that they owe taxes, then walked by way of the ‘payment’ of these taxes by way of a Bitcoin ATM.

That’s fairly shitty, however not the identical as money-laundering, by any stretch of the creativeness. And as Japanese police found, even an increase in particular crypto-related money-laundering nonetheless comprised lower than two % of whole circumstances.

An Supreme Cash-Laundering Car?

So why does VPD describe BATMs as ‘an ideal money-laundering vehicle’?

The report expresses considerations concerning the lack of requirement to register buyer particulars, permitting straightforward transferral from bitcoin to cash and vice versa. Though it does appear unsure of the extent of profit this brings over different strategies.

A consumer also can launder a limiteless sum of money utilizing smaller transactions in order to not arouse suspicion, like they might at an everyday financial institution.

It goes on to say that if a legal group have been to buy a BATM, it might launder the cash, while additionally gaining from transaction charges.

In response to CoinATMRadar, there are 76 BATMs within the Vancouver area, and it’s unlikely that many (if any) of those fall into this class. To be truthful, the VPD report doesn’t counsel a ban, merely elevated regulation to forestall the sort of habits.

The council is at present researching the difficulty, and anticipated to report again within the fourth quarter of 2019. Let’s hope it applies a bit of frequent sense.

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