Use Bitcoin ATMs to Launder Money
Analysis of Ciphertrace shows that the trend is present in the United States. Funds sent via these distributors to Bitcoin mostly had as destination exchanges “at risk”. According to the analyst firm, risky exchanges are ” harmful exchanges that are known to facilitate criminal activity and money laundering. Although high risk exchanges are not necessarily indicative of criminal activity […], the flow of dirty money on these exchanges means that their use is a red flag in itself. “
These disreputable trading platforms are increasingly linked to Bitcoin distributors. The percentage of funds sent from American ATMs to these exchanges doubled every year since 2017, according to Ciphertrace:
Funds sent to high risk exchanges from ATMs (USA). Source: Ciphertrace
In total, 8% of all payments made with Bitcoin distributors located in the United States are sent to these “harmful” exchanges:
Distribution of payments from distributors to BTC (BATM). Source: Ciphertrace
Notably, the funds that are sent through these distributors are overwhelmingly intended abroad. 88% of BTC sent via ATMs are destined for an international exchange. According to Ciphertrace, this share is higher than the average of exchange-to-exchange transactions.
👉 Also discover: 5 new distributors in France (Paris) and more than 7,000 worldwide
The likely future regulation of ATMs
Distributors at Bitcoin have multiplied in recent years, especially in the United States. So far, these distribution points have attracted little interest from regulators. But that could change. Ciphertrace says growing use of Bitcoin ATMs to launder funds may well get the attention of law enforcement. ATMs would then be the next area to be examined and regulated, after exchanges.
👉 To go further, read: US tax authorities investigate Bitcoin ATM operators
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