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US wants stricter regulation on crypto ATMs

GAO claims crypto ATMs are widely used to facilitate payments for criminal acts

The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO ) released a report stating that crypto ATMs are widely used to facilitate payments for criminal acts such as human trafficking and the sale of drugs and calls for their supervision and regulation to be strengthened.

In its recommendations, the government agency proposes that the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) review the registration requirements of crypto ATMs:

“Although crypto ATM operators are required to register with FinCEN, they are not required to routinely report the specific locations of their ATMs. This limits the ability of federal agencies to identify them in areas that have been designated as high risk for financial crimes and that could involve human and drug trafficking “.

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GAO contends that reviewing registration information requirements and taking necessary and appropriate steps to better identify ATM locations could help FinCEN and the IRS identify high-risk operators to monitor compliance. , as well as to improve the information available to law enforcement agencies to identify potentially illicit transactions.

To justify its call for stricter regulation, the GAO cited a study conducted in July 2020 by the social justice movement Polaris Project, which suggested that cryptocurrencies are “the second most commonly accepted payment method on 40 platforms in the market. of commercial sex online. ”

The agency’s report also referred to documents from the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) stating that cryptocurrencies “are increasingly used to buy and sell illegal drugs in the Dark Web markets and by drug cartels. the drug to launder their profits. “

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