Bitcoin ATMs laundering money in London, police say
Authorities in London have said that criminals are using the city's bitcoin ATMs to launder the proceeds from drug sales and other illicit activities.
According to a report by The Times, the unregulated machines are being used to stash dirty money that can then be moved around the world at will.
"It's a great opportunity for [criminals] to dispose of cash quickly," Scotland Yard Detective Inspector Tim Court was quoted as saying. "You can shift it across borders, send it anywhere in the world to buy commodities."
Additionally, the report said, using bitcoin ATMs to dispose of cash ensures that the money will not be confiscated by police during an arrest.
However, this does not mean that it cannot be seized eventually. Authorities in London are working with those in other countries to access criminal assets that have been converted to bitcoin and other virtual currencies.
According to The Times, London boasts more than 70 out of approximately 100 bitcoin ATMs installed in the U.K. Several of these machines allow users to make transactions of up to 500 pounds without identification, according to the report.
There are more than 70 cryptocurrency ATMs in convenience stores across London. Users can transfer cash into cryptocurrency provided they have set up an online wallet. Several ATMs allow transactions of up to 500 pounds ($672.65) without identification.
The report said that regulations to be implemented in 2018 will impose ID requirements for bitcoin ATMs in the U.K.