France in reverse: bitcoin dispensers scratched off the map for “aggravated bleaching”.
Will the so-called “crypto-nation” end up as real crypto-enfer? France was already among the Western countries with the fewest bitcoin distributors, but this time it’s even worse: 8 of them have just been seized for suspicions of money laundering.
ATMs for bitcoins and other cryptos were already extremely rare in France – around ten, compared with 102 ATMs for a country like Switzerland, for example – but this is almost the end of the beans.
We learn, notably through an article in France Info, that 8 BTC dispensers were seized by the courts on Friday 18 December.
These ATMs, which were located in several French cities, are said to have been subject to a Bitcoin System preliminary investigation, opened by the Paris public prosecutor’s office, on suspicion of aggravated money laundering.
In addition to these accusations, it turns out that the distributor in question, the Polish company Bitcoin Technologies (which operated its ATMs under the brand name “Shitcoin.club”), had still not registered as a provider of digital asset services (PSAN), approved by the AMF (the French Financial Markets Authority).
According to the information provided, “nearly €200,000 in cash” had been seized from the 8 machines in question. We are therefore still far from the 2 trillion dollars of dirty money that the big banks of this world (Deutsche Bank in the lead) would have seen passing through their networks, according to the famous FinCEN files.
3 distributors of bitcoins for 67 million inhabitants
According to Coin ATM Radar, a site aggregating data on cryptos ATMs, there are only 3 ATMs available in France, or should we say “in Paris”, since these last survivors are all located in the capital.
Meanwhile, in the rest of the world, there have simply never been so many cryptos ATMs: 13,419 ATMs, of which more than 98% support Bitcoin.
In fact, even in spite of the health and economic crisis caused by the coronavirus epidemic, this year 2020 has seen an increase of +110% in the number of MTAs, more than doubling!