Unauthorized bitcoin ATMs are being shut down by the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority of Germany (BaFin), responsible for the regulation of crypto service providers.
The operation is conducted in compliance with the bill that the German government passed in December 2019, and made effective in January 2020. The said bill granted federal banks the authority to cater cryptocurrency purchases, under the condition that every provider will have to seek approval from BaFin first.
Bitcoin teller machines need to go through BaFin to be cleared for proprietary services. However, there are unapproved machines all over the country that were put up without permission from authorities. One firm, Shitcoins Club, violated the bill and was issued an order in February to close ATM operations in all locations.
Shitcoin’s ATMs are abundant in malls across Europe. After the order, the firm published a website post notifying its customers of the issued order. However, they continued their operations not long after. When the machines were inspected in some locations, they were still functional.
They news was first known when someone went to one of the Shitcoins branches and saw that the place was closed under BaFin’s orders. The machines still operate and the trade name is retained but ownership of the platform was transferred to another company. Another company, Coin Fellows, closed down in July, with around 40 ATMs in Germany, mostly in the South.
Some operators of bitcoin ATMs criticized that the requirements of BaFin to acquire rights to operate are almost unachievable by small-scale providers and inclined towards the financial giants.
The emergence of new bitcoin machines have started to dominate globally, with almost 9,000 machines so far as tracked. The United States is also applying the same policies regarding cryptocurrency, and was no exemption to unauthorized operations. 17 ATMs across California were confiscated.