Thieves Steal CA$4,000 from Bitcoin ATM But Leave CA$50,000

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Thieves have stolen CA$4,000 ($3,000) from a Bitcoin ATM in Canada, but neglected to take a further CA$50,000 ($37,600) held in another container inside the machine. The theft, which included the break in of a shop through the front windows, marks a new low in the relationship between the Candadian authorities and Bitcoin ATMs, which they have already linked to money laundering in the country.

Smash and Grab Raid

The theft took place at around 4am on Tuesday, November 19 in Vernon, a town situated half way between Vancouver and Calgary in Canada’s south west. Crooks smashed their way into the Simply Delicious store in which the ATM was located and made for the machine, a Genesis Coin Bitcoin ATM that had been in place for around a year. They took the CA$4,000 to which they had easy access, but left a separate cannister that held the further CA$50,000. Police arrived on scene 15 minutes after the shop alarm went off, according to store owner Troy Roland, but the thieves were long gone by that point.

Roland has since said that he will no longer be housing a Bitcoin ATM in his store, which will surprise no one. The fact that the machines are left overnight with as much as CA$54,000 inside them is, in hindsight, crazy, and the ease with which the criminals were able to access the money inside will also be of some concern to the manufacturers.

Worsening Relationship

Canada is a very popular location for Bitcoin ATMs, with Vancouver being home to the first ever Bitcoin ATM and now hosting around the same number as London. However, their rapid growth has prompted calls for their regulation as concerns of money laundering have grown, alongside scams. Even the mayor of Vancouver has spoken out against the presence of Bitcoin ATMs in the past, while the Vancouver Police Department has also called them “an ideal money-laundering vehicle.” This latest incident won’t do much to improve their reputation in the country.