Will the so-called „crypto-nation“ end up a 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.
French crypto-distributors reduced to grief-stricken skin
ATMs for Bitcoin Future and other cryptos were already extremely rare in France – about ten, compared to 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 ATMs of BTC were seized by the justice system on Friday, December 18.
These ATMs, which were distributed in several French cities, are said to have fallen under a preliminary investigation, opened by the Paris Public Prosecutor’s Office, for suspicions 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 euros in cash“ would have been seized from the 8 machines in question. We are therefore still far from the 2 trillion dollars of dirty money that the world’s major banks (Deutsche Bank in the lead) would have seen pass through their networks, according to the famous FinCEN files.
3 distributors of bitcoins for 67 million inhabitants
According to Coin ATM Radar, a site aggregator of data on cryptos ATMs, there would remain in all and for all only 3 ATMs available in France, finally we should rather 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.
Evolution of the number of ATMs, all cryptos combined
In fact, even despite the health and economic crisis caused by the coronavirus epidemic, this year 2020 has seen a +110% increase in the number of TMAs, more than doubling!
For France, it will therefore be a decrease of -73%, assuming that the last three will not suffer the same fate by the end of the year. In the meantime, justice is taking its course, and the future will tell us whether the suspicions of money laundering were well justified.