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Bitcoin ATM Firm LibertyX Expands Locations via New Partnership

LibertyX, the firm that launched America’s first Bitcoin ATM, will add 90 new machines by teaming up with DesertATM.

LibertyX, the firm that launched America’s first Bitcoin (BTC) automated teller machine (ATM), will add 90 new machines to its network.

In order to expand the network, Boston-based LibertyX has partnered with independent ATM operator DesertATM, according to a report by global ATM market publication ATMmarketplace on July 18.

As a part of the partnership, DesertATM will upload LibertyX on 90 of its Genmega ATMs to enable Bitcoin operations. New Bitcoin ATM locations will include gas stations such as AMPM, ARCO & Chevron, as well as Family Dollar retail stores, the press release notes.

In October 2018, LibertyX teamed up with Genmega, an ATM supplier serving the Independent ATM Deployment market, to allow users to use their debit cards to purchase Bitcoin at any BTC-enabled Genmega machine.

LibertyX CEO Chris Yim stated that the company has been making partnerships with ATM operators that already have locations to offer LibertyX services on their machines. According to Yim, the firm’s network now spans across 43 states and allows users to buy Bitcoin from a cashier or ATM using their debit card or a kiosk, with a limit of $3,000 of Bitcoin at a time.

As previously reported, LibertyX obtained a BitLicense issued by the New York State Department of Financial Services in January 2019 alongside stock and crypto trading app Robinhood .

Recently, Canadian exchange Coinsquare announced that they acquired software allowing traditional ATMs to sell cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. The news came amid a report of a potential ban on Bitcoin ATMs in Vancouver over money laundering concerns. 

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Prasos Secures Payment Institution License From Finnish Watchdog

Cryptocurrency services firm Prasos has received a payment institution license from a Finnish regulator, allowing it to offer payment services in EEA countries.

Finland-based cryptocurrency firm Prasos has secured a payment institution license via the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority (FFSA). The news comes by way of an official announcement via its crypto exchange website on July 12.

According to the announcement, Prasos is now the third crypto firm in Europe to secure a payment institution license. According to its website, Prasos operates a crypto exchange, a crypto investment platform, and Bitcoin (BTC) ATMs.

Prasos stated that, thanks to its new license, its crypto investment platform Coinmotion is now capable of supporting a payment service in the European Economic Area (EEA), which includes EU member states as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. 

The license will also reportedly allow Coinmotion to cooperate more smoothly with banks and traditional financial institutions, and extend its capabilities pertaining to traditional fiat money.

Prasos Oy’s managing director Heidi Hurskainen said it took around one-and-a-half years to complete the application process; Hurskainen also noted that over this period, crypto legislation within the EU has become more clear.

Looking forward, Prasos is planning to apply — again with the FFSA — for a virtual currency provider license in May, as will apparently be required when new legislation comes into effect that month.

As recently reported by Cointelegraph, two companies in the United States have received notable licensure through the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Blockchain startup Blockstack announced on July 10 that it was running the first SEC-approved public token offering under Regulation A+, while the blockchain org Props announced on July 11 that it had received the first SEC-approved consumer-facing token offering, under Reg A+ as well.

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Canadian Startup Wants to Upgrade Millions of ATMs to Sell Bitcoin

Canadian crypto exchange Coinsquare announced an initiative to turn “millions” of ATMs to bitcoin teller machines.

Canadian exchange Coinsquare has acquired software allowing traditional ATMs to sell cryptocurrency such as bitcoin (BTC), according to a press release on July 3.

Coinsquare announced a controlling investment in Just Cash, a United States-based fintech startup that has developed a software that allows users to purchase crypto directly through traditional ATM machines without the need of additional hardware or mobile application.

Following the investment of undisclosed amount, the Just Cash team will join Coinsquare in and operate under Coinsquare brand.

Coinsquare CEO Cole Diamond says that the new initiative reflects the company’s mission of bringing mainstream adoption to the crypto industry. According to Diamond, enabling crypto purchases through ATMs will make cryptocurrency “finally reach the masses.”

Though the press release does not specify how many ATMs Coinsquare is targeting for the upgrade, the startup nevertheless can now offer crypto capabilities for millions of existing ATMs around the world. 

Diamond notes: 

“By using the millions of existing ATMs around the world, we can now bridge the gap and give new users the easiest and most familiar experience to purchase cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is new and unfamiliar to many, but ATMs are not.”

The news comes amid a recent report on Canada’s city of Vancouver considering a ban of specialized bitcoin ATMs (BTMs) due to money laundering concerns.

Earlier this year, Coinsquare announced the launch of its own stablecoin backed by the Canadian dollar (CAD). In late 2018, the company expanded its business to 25 countries in Europe, prior to reports that Coinsquare laid off around 30% of its employees in January 2019.

In late June, Cointelegraph reported that the total number of BTMs reached 5,000 in about 90 countries.

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Bitcoin ATM Count Skyrockets to 5,000 as BTC Passes $12,000

Bitcoin ATMs on The Rise

Since the first Bitcoin automated teller (ATM) was launched in Vancouver, Canada during late-2013, this form of infrastructure has been lauded as a viable medium of global adoption. For many common consumers, ATMs are a perfect segway from the world of traditional finance (fiat) to cryptocurrencies, as such devices make purchasing Bitcoin intuitive, physical, and accessible. In fact, compared to using exchanges like Bitfinex, Coinstamp, and the like, ATMs are a proverbial piece of cake.

The viability of cryptocurrency ATMs has resulted in a mass inflow of capital and effort to prop up these machines. In fact, according to Coin ATM Radar, the number of these machines has just ticked over 5,000, up by 800 in the past six-odd months when this writer last mentioned Bitcoin ATMs. These machines are located in 76 countries and run by over 500 companies.

Unlike the value of Bitcoin, the number of ATMs has been chugging higher steadily for the past five odd years. In fact, per data from the aforementioned source, 5.9 ATMs are being set up each and every day, meaning that by this time in 365 days, there should be around 7,000 ATMs instead of the 5,000 seen today. Interestingly, the majority of this form of adoption is occurring in Canada and the United States, despite the fact that these countries already have good exchanges.

There may be a good reason for this rapid growth.

Per our previous reports, Coinstar, a North American kiosk provider with tens of thousands of offerings across the U.S. & Canada, recently joined hands with Coinme, a Bitcoin ATM upstart, to implement their services into Coinstar’s terminals. Coinstar operates over 20,000 kiosks, meaning that customers can buy BTC with their spare change at a number of locations.

In a similar string of news, Circle K, a convenience store chain prominent in America, is beta testing Bitcoin ATMs at some 20 locations in Arizona and Nevada.

Interestingly though, there has been some pushback regarding these machines.

According to a report from The Star, in a city council meeting earlier this year, Vancouver, Canada regulators passed a motion that would “regulate the use and operation of cryptocurrency ATMs, including the requirement for a business licence, requirement for signage to advertise common frauds, requirement for identifications to be used to verify the sender and receiver of funds and requirement of security features.”

Nothing came of this until May 28th, when mayor Kennedy Stewart recently suggested a fully-fledged ban on these machines.spoke with The Star on the matter.

“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.”

Although Duhaime acknowledges that there is a valid need for Bitcoin ATMs, the Vancouver Police Department is skeptical. This year, they called this form of cash-to-crypto (and vice-versa) exchange “an ideal money-laundering vehicle” and a medium for “fraud”.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

The post Bitcoin ATM Count Skyrockets to 5,000 as BTC Passes $12,000 appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Canada: Vancouver Mayor Suggests Ban on Bitcoin ATMs

The city of Vancouver, Canada, is considering banning bitcoin automated teller machines due to money laundering issues.

The city of Vancouver, Canada, is considering banning bitcoin (BTC) automated teller machines (ATMs) due to money laundering issues, the Next Web reported on June 5.

The mayor of Vancouver, Kennedy Stewart, has reportedly suggested a complete ban on bitcoin ATMs in connection with the increasing number of money laundering cases. A police report cited by the Next Web claim that criminals could purchase a bitcoin ATM for their own needs for a few thousand dollars, and then deposit their cash into that ATM “as many times as required” to profit from or eliminate the transaction fees.

Authorities reportedly expect to receive 840 reports related to digital currency this year, which is three times the number of reported produced last year. While Vancouver and Richmond city councils have pushed for action, the province of British Columbia is going to hold a money laundering inquiry to investigate further.

According to industry monitoring resource CoinATMRadar, there are 694 cryptocurrency ATMs in Canada, with 76 in Vancouver, at press time.

Last month, in Spain eight people were arrested for allegedly laundering money by exchanging fiat currency to crypto assets. The individuals reportedly used cryptocurrency ATMs and split funds into smaller sums to introduce them into the financial system without having the transactions reported as suspicious.

As reported in January, United States bitcoin ATM operator Coinme — the first bitcoin ATM operator to receive a license in the U.S. in 2014 — entered a partnership to sell bitcoin at coin counting kiosks owned by Coinstar.

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Eight People Allegedly Arrested for Money Laundering Scheme Involving Crypto in Spain

Eight people have been arrested for allegedly operating a money laundering scheme involving cryptocurrencies.

In Spain, eight people have been arrested for allegedly operating a money laundering scheme involving cryptocurrencies, Europol announced in a press release on May 8.

Per the release, the group laundered money by exchanging fiat currency to crypto assets. The individuals reportedly used cryptocurrency ATMs and split funds into smaller sums to introduce them into the financial system without having the transactions reported as suspicious.

Participants reportedly carried cash, depositing it in several bank accounts and moving it around through different accounts before exchanging it for crypto. Large transfers were sent to accounts from corporate entities owned by the alleged criminals, who also wired money to cryptocurrency exchanges.

Seven houses were searched during the investigations, including a money exchange office and an indoor cannabis cultivation plant. Eleven vehicles, €16,800 ($18,800), nearly 200 cannabis plants, two crypto ATMs, jewels, relevant documents and computers were taken by the authorities. The report also claims that Spanish authorities froze four cold wallets and 20 hot wallets — to which €9 million ($10,000) was transferred — in an unspecified way.

As Cointelegraph reported at the end of April, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance announced that two men plead guilty for illicitly selling steroids and controlled substances and laundering millions of dollars in cryptocurrencies and Western Union payments.

In mid-April, New York state prosecutors also indicted three men for the sale of illicit drugs on the dark web and laundering $2.3 million in cryptocurrency.

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Crypto ATM Operator CoinFlip Postpones Tether Stablecoin Listing

Cryptocurrency automated teller machine provider CoinFlip has postponed listing USDT as the firm wants “full assurance that USDT is stable.”

Cryptocurrency automated teller machine (ATMs) operator CoinFlip has postponed support for the  stablecoin tether (USDT). The company announced the development in a tweet on May 1.

CoinFlip initially revealed that it will start listing Tron-powered stablecoin USDT at over 180 CoinFlip’s ATMs on April 30. However, in about 24 hours CoinFlip posted an update, saying that it has postponed USDT listing “until a later time.”

The company noted in the tweet that it will still work together with Tron to provide customers with the cash-to-tron option.

Commenting on the company’s decision, CoinFlip CEO Daniel Polotsky told Cointelegraph:

“CoinFlip’s number one priority is making sure our customers are safe, so we always err on the side of caution. We need full assurance that USDT is stable, and that Tether and Bitfinex are fully abiding by U.S. law. I truly hope that is the case.”

Yesterday, Cointelegraph reported that Zoe Phillips of law firm Morgan Lewis said that 74% of Tether’s reserves had 1:1 U.S. dollar backing. The figure falls short of previous promises given by Tether executives, specifically that every USDT token had full fiat backing.

Phillips’ statement came in the wake of the New York Attorney General’s office allegations that Bitfinex had lost $850 million and subsequently used funds from Tether to secretly cover the shortfall.

Later that day, Tether responded to the allegations, stating that the “court filings were written in bad faith and are riddled with false assertions, including as to a purported $850 million ‘loss’ at Crypto Capital.” The company also said that “both Bitfinex and Tether are committed to fighting this gross overreach by the New York Attorney General’s office against companies that are good corporate citizens and strong supporters of law enforcement.”

Last January, critics suspected the coin of operating a fractional reserve while issuing more tokens than they had backing for, and sending them to cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex. Following a subpoena from United States regulators to both Bitfinex and Tether, the company ordered an unofficial audit, which found that stablecoin had the appropriate amount of backing dollars.

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Major Saudi ATM Provider Partners With Blockchain Identity Platform

Saudi ATM provider Alhamrani Universal and blockchain firm ShoCard will jointly develop a new type of ATM combining blockchain and biometrics technologies.

Saudi automated teller machine (ATM) provider Alhamrani Universal (AU) has collaborated with blockchain identity platform ShoCard to develop a blockchain-based biometric ATM, according to a press release published on Feb. 27.

The collaboration will see AU and ShoCard create a new type of an ATM combining blockchain technology and biometrics as part of a five-factor authentication process. The ATM will reportedly allow customers to use a blockchain-based app and facial recognition instead of personal identification numbers to withdraw funds.

The ATMs will purportedly be able to communicate across banks in the region, while the deployment of blockchain technology will allow it to confirm users’ identities without the need to access bank databases. Armin Ebrahimi, Founder and CEO of ShoCard, said that blockchain “protect[s] individuals’ identity while confirming the information that banks need to verify that a withdrawal is legitimate.”

Founded in 1981, Alhamrani Universal is purportedly the largest ATM provider in the Middle East, having an over 50 percent of the ATM market share in Saudi Arabia.

Blockchain has been widely adopted for identity management systems. Recently, global computer tech giant Oracle announced the expansion of features on its commercial Oracle Blockchain Platform, including identity management and data integration features, such as enabling the integration of blockchain transaction history with other data resources.

In November of last year, American software corporation Microsoft released a serverless blockchain-powered Azure development kit, which contains features like off-chain identity and data, monitoring, and messaging application programming interfaces (API) in a format that can be used to develop blockchain-based apps.