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- Bitcoin ATMs a “Hole” in EU Anti-Money Laundering Rules
- Bitcoin: First ATM for online currency opens in Vancouver coffee shop
- Bitcoin ATM opens in Vancouver coffee shop
- How the first Bitcoin ATM came to Vancouver
- Ranking of the top 50 cities in Canada with the most Bitcoin ATMs 2021
- Bitcoin ATMs — Why Vancouver doesn't want them
Bitcoin ATMs a “Hole” in EU Anti-Money Laundering Rules
This article was published more than 2 years ago. Some information may no longer be current. With report after inquiry after investigation suggesting a crisis of money laundering in British Columbia, the City of Vancouver has decided to tackle the problem by targeting what it sees as its lowest common denominator: bitcoin ATMs. Of course, the ATMs are hardly representative of cryptocurrency, and few investors may be mourning their loss.
The decision was publicized so haphazardly that when I asked authorities about it two days later, they had no idea what was going on. Make no mistake, the issue of bitcoin ATMs is one of social class. Sex workers use cryptocurrency to buy ads or run websites because credit-card issuers often refuse to work with the platforms and hosting services that cater to their industry.
Using cryptocurrency also grants a certain anonymity, which is of particular importance; many sex workers deliberately avoid using online exchange platforms, which have lower fees, but often require bank accounts, credit cards, a fixed address or other identification.
A lot of people don't want to be outed as sex workers. The online exchange platforms also require an internet connection, and a certain level of technological savviness on the part of the user. It can also take days to verify documentation, if it is indeed submitted. Enter bitcoin ATMs, which, unlike online exchanges, are simple, indiscriminate and demand next to nothing of the user. For that convenience, they charge a high price, with commission and markup sometimes as high as 20 per cent.
Of course, what makes the ATMs attractive to sex workers is no doubt also attractive to money launderers. British Columbia has wide-ranging issues with dirty money and it is not a stretch to say the ATMs could be involved.
But cleaning ill-gotten gains is almost as old as sex work. Are bitcoin ATMs used more so than, or even as frequently as, restaurants, casinos, convenience stores or any other business? It is unclear what police information the city was referring to when it cited money laundering as the reason for the potential ban.
That is a serious issue. ATMs are probably also used by privacy-minded people who want to keep their assets to themselves. The city has not made a final decision on this ban. Staff are researching the matter and will report back by the end of the year, although a ban may not be the only outcome.
But even a little regulation, which may seem inconsequential to a city worker, can have a large and regressive impact. Forcing the machines to require identification, for example, is as good as a ban for the sex workers that need the anonymity. Yet, those who actually launder money might end up little affected.
With the right will and means, it is not hard to buy bitcoin anonymously for cheaper than through ATMs. People deeply involved in cryptocurrency know a guy — or know a guy who knows a guy — who can facilitate that. Follow us on Twitter: globedebate Opens in a new window. Report an error. Editorial code of conduct. Skip to main content. Ethan Lou. Contributed to The Globe and Mail. Bookmark Please log in to bookmark this story. Log In Create Free Account. Follow us on Twitter: globedebate Opens in a new window Report an error Editorial code of conduct.
Bitcoin: First ATM for online currency opens in Vancouver coffee shop
The Vancouver-based bitcoin exchange site Bitcoiniacs is behind the move, and as recently as September it said would place the ATMs in five Canadian cities. Bitcoins are the most popular digital currency that was originally only embraced by hardcore computer geeks, but gradually started appealing to those likely tired of economic meltdowns throughout the world fuelled by irresponsible central bankers. Bitcoiniacs cofounder Mitchell Demeter started the company with two high school friends from Sechelt, British Columbia, launching a few months ago. The coffee shop that will host the ATM is a Waves coffee house, one location among many of the popular coffee chain in Vancouver. The Waves location actually hosts a weekly bitcoin meetup where fans can swap currencies for the digital currency, as well as purchase things from the coffee shop. Demeter will likely charge a three percent commission on transactions from the machines, which can exchange bitcoins for dollars, and vice versa.
Bitcoin ATM opens in Vancouver coffee shop
Fast, Simple and Reliable. Methods of Payment. Fee Schedule. What We Do. Vancouver Bitcoin has helped thousands of Canadians buy and sell cryptocurrencies securely. Transactions take place in a safe environment with professional staff always here to assist. Learn More.
How the first Bitcoin ATM came to Vancouver
Ranking of the top 50 cities in Canada with the most Bitcoin ATMs 2021
With the push of a button it will show your balance down to eight decimal points. Bitcoin has long seemed the domain of the tech-obsessed, or at least of those with technical prowess. So the ATM makes it easier to get bitcoin in their digital wallet, in this case the Coinme smartphone and computer app. Then what? It can be used in online retail to get around processing fees — more major websites are accepting the currency all the time — and it even can be used by two friends out at dinner to easily share the cost of a meal by moving bitcoin from smartphone to smartphone. A few dozen different businesses accept bitcoin transactions in person in Portland, though none are listed on coinmap.
Bitcoin ATMs — Why Vancouver doesn't want them
The Vancouver Police Department is warning the federal government that digital currency such as Bitcoin will be used by organized crime to launder money unless more checks and balances are implemented to set up accounts and monitor those who operate automated teller machines. Police in Metro Vancouver saw a per cent increase from to in files related to digital currency. As of January, police were investigating 70 files and say they could see more than cases generated by the end of year, resulting in a per cent increase over last year. The report points out different scams associated to digital currency, including people posing as Canada Revenue Agency employees who target mainly new immigrants and seniors. They tell them they owe money and request the money be deposited in a Bitcoin automated teller machine to a defined address. That type of crime has police worried that organized criminals will take advantage of the anonymity and non-regulated digital currency system to launder money. The report noted there is no requirement to register customer details and no limit on number of funds that can be transferred from one person to another. The resolution calls for the implementation of government amendments made to legislation known as Bill C, which was given Royal Assent in but not brought into force.
The bitcoin machine, which was installed over the weekend, is only the fifth such ATM in B. It is hooked up to the Cointrader online exchange in Vancouver and when customers sign in they can either buy or sell bitcoin. To sell bitcoin from a virtual wallet, a customer sends bitcoin to the address of the ATM and a claim ticket will be printed.
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Bitcoin is like any other currency e. Canadian Dollar, U. Dollar, Euro , except it exists solely on the Internet. The currency launched in and acts as a medium to exchange money across the world with few fees, no exchange rates, and no middlemen. Bitcoin is not trademarked anymore than e-mail is trademarked. It is not owned by an individual company and it is not regulated by a central bank. It is a new currency and form of technology that exists on the Internet.
Originally signed onto Bitcoin by the Bitcoin Co-op, CoinTrader soon moved in and made it their Bitcoin headquarters, which it still is, today! The competition is fierce, however! Although they can only do 1-way Bitcoin transactions, their cheaper price and portability made them a popular choice, and they have popped up all over the city: A steamed burrito restaurant called Steamrollers, a cafe called Lost and Found, a permanent one at their office building, and more around the country. Still not content, the directors of QuadrigaCX then acquired dozens of Skyhook-model Bitcoin ATMs, which have proven even cheaper and more portable, although slower to use.