Cryptocurrencies are part of the financial world and they have been around for over a decade now. These digital currencies have been working very well, and many people around the world like what these currencies are doing and how they improve transactions. Due to the growing popularity, many things have changed to accommodate the increased adoption of cryptos. One of these changes is the drastic increase in the number of Bitcoin ATMs across the world.
As a result of this increase, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is now closely focusing on these cryptocurrency ATMs. According to a report by Bloomberg Law, released last week, criminal investigators of the IRS are concerned regarding the implications caused by the high number of cryptocurrency ATMs and kiosks.
According to John Fort, the chief of IRS criminal investigation, they are looking at different accounts, including both those connected to bank accounts and those that are not. He further explained that they are investigating the cases where a person walks into a kiosk, deposits cash and gets back Bitcoin. He confirmed that the IRS is interested in finding out more about the person who uses the kiosk, the source of the funds as well as more about the operators of the kiosk.
The main focus of the IRS is to ensure that there is as much transparency as possible when it comes to cryptocurrency transactions, whether it is on ATMs or kiosks. Their focus is on the players in the market and ensuring that people are engaging in legit transactions.
According to a report by Hard Fork, there are over 6,000 Bitcoin ATMs across the world, as confirmed by CoinATMRadar. This is a big number, and it is expected that in the next few years, the number will rise to more than 10,000 ATMs.
Fort also stated that all kiosk and ATM operators will need to follow the regulations governing the financial space and this includes the regulations of KYC (Know Your Customer) processes as well as regulations on anti-money laundering.
Cryptocurrency ATMs are convenient as they enable people to exchange their fiat money for digital currencies. However, it is not the first time they are coming into scrutiny by government agencies who are looking into how they work and who uses them. There are many concerns that the crypto ATMS are being used by criminals, especially in relation to money laundering activities.
Last week, the Australian authorities arrested a man for operating an unregistered cryptocurrency exchange agency. During the same investigation, a cryptocurrency ATM was also seized from a shopping mall.
It is evident that when global cryptocurrency ATMs and kiosks are not monitored, and with the rise in their numbers, this may cause major issues. Fort went on to explain that the threat of cryptocurrency tax-related issues is growing rapidly and becoming a threat. As a result of this, the IRS is shifting its focus towards cryptocurrency exchanges. This is expected to be done both within and outside the US.
It seems that with tightening control over financial aspects in the US, many people are being forced to turn to cryptocurrencies, giving lawmakers and enforcers cause for concern and a reason to get involved and to investigate.