Monday, August 10, 2020



   Germany's Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), the country's top financial regulator responsible for regulating crypto service providers, has started actively shutting down unauthorized bitcoin ATMs, a BaFin spokesperson has confirmed to

All Unauthorized Bitcoin ATMs to Shut Down

 German financial regulator BaFin has started to actively shut down all unlicensed bitcoin ATMs in the country. It follows new German regulations that came into effect in January, requiring crypto service providers to get authorization from BaFin. A BaFin spokesperson told :

" Currently, BaFin is taking action to shut down all bitcoin ATMs which are set up and operated without authorisation … The ATMs are literally shut down, so they are no longer operating. "

"Operating bitcoin ATMs requires an authorization to provide financial services (proprietary trading)," the spokesperson explained. However, he noted that BaFin does not specifically collect information about bitcoin ATMs "since operating bitcoin ATMs is not an authorization requirement specified."

Nonetheless, the regulator has identified a number of unauthorized bitcoin ATMs operating in Germany. While the spokesperson did not disclose the number “Due to the ongoing process,” at least one company - Shitcoins Club - received an order from BaFin in February to cease operating all of its bitcoin ATMs in the country, as previously reported.

While appearing to comply with BaFin's mandate by posting a notice to reflect the order on its website, Shitcoins Club resumed its ATM operation soon after. Several local journalists visited various Shitcoins Club 'bitcoin ATM locations and found the machines were still in operation. 

Local news outlet Bitcoin Kurier went to the Shitcoins Club branch where there is a bitcoin ATM and found the place closed with a BaFin notice on the window and an official seal on the door reading the date Wednesday.

According to the publication, while the machine was operating under the Shitcoins Club brand, the owner was no longer Berlin-based KKT UG. In contrast, the Estonian licensed "Virtual Planet OÜ" now owns the business and its management has also changed. The BaFin notice states that the Shitcoins Club can refuse orders in writing within one month, the publication delivers. Shitcoins Club indicates on its website that about the last 20 bitcoin ATMs are active in Germany, supporting BTC, ETH, LTC and DASH. The company's bitcoin ATMs still operate in Poland, Spain, Romania, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Estonia.

Another local bitcoin ATM operator, Coin Fellows, also ceased operations across Germany at the end of July, the news outlet further reported, adding that the Coin Fellows network consists of about 40 bitcoin ATMs, mostly located in southern Germany. Another bitcoin ATM operator in Germany said BaFin's requirements were too strict for small businesses, noting that they were more adapted to large banks and financial institutions.

Meanwhile, the number of bitcoin ATMs has grown worldwide, approaching 9,000 machines, according to cryptocurrency ATM tracking site Coinatmradar. In the US, the authorities have also cracked down on unauthorized bitcoin ATMs. Operation of a $ 25 million bitcoin ATM was recently terminated and 17 machines in California were seized.

  What do you think about BaFin's actions? Let us know in the comments section below.

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