US to crack down on Bitcoin ATMs over illegal financial transactions

Without a doubt, the United States has the highest percentage of the total Bitcoin ATMs installed around the world. However, a recent report showed that authorities in the country might be coming after the machines, as they work towards combating money laundering.

Spike in financial transactions with Bitcoin ATMs

The development follows a report by Cipertrace, a blockchain analysis company that disclosed that transactions made across borders in 2019 accounted for 74 percent of all the Bitcoin (BTC) transfers from digital currency exchange. To a large extent, the operations were done with Bitcoin ATMs.

Precisely, 88 percent of the cross-border transactions involving Bitcoin were processed through the machines. As per the blockchain analysis company, these funds that left the US were mostly sent to digital currency exchanges abroad, which are considered as high-risk avenues.

Cipertrace explained that high-risk platforms are infamous for nurturing illegal financial activities, including the act of money laundering. While some of the exchange might not explicitly be nefarious, the unlawful transactions involved with them are the reason for concern, per the company.

The US to come after Bitcoin machines

On this note, John Jeffries, one of the officials at Cipertrace, said that Bitcoin ATMs in the country are likely the next target for the authorities. As the screw-up actions against illegal financial transactions, the cryptocurrency machines will allure significant regulatory attention, Jeffries said.

For a long time now, Bitcoin ATMs arguably operate without anti-money laundering rules, which possibly prompt the attention of the wrong people. These crypto machines are meant to enable people to buy and sell, sometimes to serve as remittance with Bitcoin.

As the US authorities begin to tighten up on these machines, Jeffries emphasized on the need to make “uniform regulatory enforcement and compliance.” 

Already, countries like Canada have already passed a law to control the rate of illicit money transfers, with Bitcoin ATMs. The operators were urged to report any transaction beyond $7,400.

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