As Bitcoin steps further into the mainstream and the UK announce they are to bring in tough new regulations for cryptocurrency trading within it’s borders, it was inevitable the UK’s ridiculous media would jump back into their anti-bitcoin rhetoric from days gone by.
The latest non-story comes from one of the UK’s most appalling tabloids, The Daily Mail. They have determined through the statements of a couple of shopkeepers and Bar management staff that the Bitcoin ATM’s they have installed at their premises are primarily used by Drug addicts and criminals.
Teenagers reeking of drugs deposit wads of £50 notes in Bitcoin cashpoints: Shopkeepers reveal how network of 98 ATMs across the country are being used after police’s money laundering warning
The above is the title of the article and this all comes from the following statement made by a shopkeeper:
Mahalingam Krishna, who owns G7 newsagents in West Norwood, South London said: ‘It’s easy money for us. We get £200 a month just to have it sitting in the shop.
‘We have had one since May and we get all sorts. Boys wearing hoodies, kids aged 17 or 18. They reek of drugs.
‘I don’t know if they are criminals, they don’t like me to see what they are doing.’
Firstly let’s be clear on just which drugs generally ‘reek’ on users when they are off out on their travels, cannabis. Now let’s be honest when we think of drugs do we still place cannabis in this category?
So the next point to make is that while these criminal, drug reeking teenagers are piling their cash into a Bitcoin ATM they really don’t want detective of the year, Mahalingam Krishna peering over their shoulder. Is it really so unreasonable to hide your transactions from complete strangers, if you ever see me at a traditional ATM you’d think I was up to no good.
But it’s not just criminal profiler mastermind Krishna who the Daily Mail have got these statements from, Staff at Loading Bar in Dalston, East London also partake in part time detective work. These guys have determined that at least 60% of their Bitcoin ATM user base is Drug dealers.
Staff at Loading Bar in Dalston, East London, estimate that at least 60 per cent who use its Bitcoin ATM, installed six months ago, are drug dealers.
‘At first it was about 80 per cent,’ said a male employee who did not want to be named. The guys who are druggies will bring in massive amounts, a wad of £50 notes.’
What they fail to realise is that they have just effectively incriminated themselves as accomplices due to their knowledge of criminal behaviour taking place under their premises. Alternatively the entire article is just based very little fact and very much nonsense.
But either way, Bitcoin is designed to enable a free and open market for anyone, doing anything. The nefarious actions of others who choose to use Bitcoin as a tool to assist in their activities is irrelevant to Bitcoin itself, without Bitcoin they will use another means.
It’s also worth noting that these ATM’s only allow £250 of bitcoin to be purchased at one time, anything over this value requires two forms of Identification and the customers fingerprint. Small time dealers maybe chucking funds into Bitcoin, but the big fish, the real criminals are not likely to use such a system to clean their money up.
Should we not be concerning ourselves with the trillions of unaccounted dollars that remain on the US Government’s balance sheets and the child abusers and fraudsters over at Westminster in the UK. We should also not forget the biggest criminals of all, the banks. With their ‘bail ins’ and ‘bail outs’, with their money laundering and market manipulation.