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Vancouver Wants to Ban Bitcoin ATMs Due to Money-Laundering Concerns

No ban in Singapore as Bitcoin ATMs run dry

The Vancouver government is not very happy with the evolution of crypto in the locality, and the growing concern that digital currencies may facilitate money laundering operations has prompted the authorities to propose a ban on Bitcoin ATMs.

According to the Vancouver Police Department, the lack of regulations and the growing adoption of cryptocurrencies have turned Bitcoin ATMs into an “ideal money-laundering vehicle”.

This opinion has been gaining strength over the last few months. Back in February, Sergeant Alvin Shum wrote a report to the Vancouver Police Board warning about the possible dangers associated with the use of Bitcoin in non-controlled transactions:

“Given the lack of a central authority, there is no controlling organization who can monitor or regulate the transfer of funds to ensure a legitimate transaction. This creates a prime opportunity for the criminal element to capitalize on remaining anonymous, as they work to defraud unsuspecting citizens, launder money, and make large-sum anonymous transactions.”

Vancouver was the first city in the world to have a Bitcoin ATM, however, despite giving a lesson in innovation, it seems that the authorities do not hesitate to change their decision if this maintains the state of law that has so characterized the locality.

Some of the Bitcoin ATMs that can be found in Vancouver
Some of the Bitcoin ATMs that can be found in Vancouver

However, the decision is not without controversy. According to the local media outlet The Star, the authorities must weigh the pros and cons of this decision in order not to affect the legitimate businesses already established around the local crypto ecosystem.

Christine Duhaime, a Vancouver lawyer specialized in AML policies explained to the news site that the situation is not as easy as it seems:

“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.

Until
now it is not possible to know with certainty whether this ban will
be a reality or is simply a possibility that is being studied, but
the rumor has already generated discontent in the ecosystem. One of
those affected, Mr. Drew Glover explained that it is ” absurd ”
to think that the municipalities could have the competence to
restrict or regulate the operations with cryptocurrencies when this
matter is clearly a competence of the federal regulations.

“The new regulation will define what businesses dealing in the space are required to do to monitor and prevent those sort of activities,”

The post Vancouver Wants to Ban Bitcoin ATMs Due to Money-Laundering Concerns appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Report: Kazakhstan's Central Bank Wants to Ban Cryptocurrencies

The National Bank of Kazakhstan wants to ban cryptocurrency trading and mining in the European nation, its chairman said.

Speaking to Sputnik News, Daniyar Akishev said the central bank is “taking [a] very conservative approach” towards cryptocurrencies, looking for “extremely tough restrictions.”

To that end, he told the Russian government news site, he wants to ban all crypto exchanges and prevent residents from converting the nation’s fiat currency into any form of cryptocurrency.

In addition, he said he wants to ban cryptocurrency mining within Kazakhstan’s borders, telling Sputnik:

“We minimize the risks related to the national market. However, no central bank has all the instruments to control this market in the cross-border market. Therefore, at least, we must prevent this risk via the national currency.”

The bank – and other government agencies – believe that cryptocurrencies are “an ideal instrument for money laundering and tax evasion,” he said.

Despite the chairman’s words, it does not appear that there are any regulations, laws or bills aimed at curbing the use of cryptocurrencies in Kazakhstan at present.

Kazakhstan flag image via Shutterstock

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Russia May Ban Bitcoin Payments Entirely: Deputy Finance Minister

Russia seems to be constantly shifting its stance on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Just a month ago, Buterin was smiling and signing agreements with the Russian state banks for Ethereum partnerships. 

Now suddenly, it appears that Russia may ban Bitcoin payments entirely, as was previously suggested.

Hawkish minister

The Deputy Finance Minister Alexey Moiseev told reporters that the cryptocurrency would likely be banned, especially given its volatile history, risk to consumers and potential for hacking loss. In an interview he said:

“No regulator doubts that payments will be banned. In my opinion, in a country where millions have suffered from pyramid schemes, it is impossible to allow the situation when citizens sell apartments in order to make investments in cryptocurrencies to repeat.”

Disagreements

In spite of the strong statements by the Deputy Finance Minister, other members of the Duma have taken a softer stance.

In a separate interview, Anatoly Aksakov, head of the State Duma for the Financial Market Committee, made it clear that no comprehensive plan had come to fruition. He told reporters:

“The discussions will continue. In any case, there is a market. It is developing rapidly, and there are certain advantages that could be used. I mean the advantages associated with attracting investments for projects through the ICO. I have a positive attitude to this, but there is another point of view. In order to make a decision, consensus will be necessary.”

Whether the more straightforward Moiseev or, the more political Aksakov will win out remains to be seen. Nevertheless, the battle for how to deal with cryptocurrencies in Russia will continue. Russia may become a test case for whether it is even possible for a government to ban Bitcoin at all.