Police in Catalonia is conducting an investigation following reports that a Bitcoin ATM was stolen from a Grayscale Bitcoin Trust crypto exchange in the Sarria neighborhood of Barcelona at around 3 AM on Friday.
An unverified video claiming to be footage of the incident showed an SUV ramming into the closed shutters of the GBTC storefront before six men in hoods carried the cash machine into a second car waiting on the street. So far, police have refrained from commenting on the investigation to the local media, according to Reuters.
Bitcoin ATMs allow customers to purchase cryptocurrency using cash or a debit card, while some also allow users to exchange their crypto holdings for cash.
Data from the Coin ATM radar website revealed that there are 158 active Bitcoin ATMs in Spain, the highest number in Europe. These ATMs are becoming more common in gas stations and convenience stores as they provide a seamless user experience. On the flip side, they can also be easy targets for criminals.
CNBC recently reported that ATMs were being used as a tool for drug trafficking, money laundering, and a variety of fraud scams in the U.S.
Many operators of Bitcoin ATMs are still registered with the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network in states where the regulations are quite slack.
There have been several other stories related to Bitcoin ATM crimes in the past. Back in July, charges were laid against a 24-year-old man in Surrey for a Bitcoin ATM robbery and property crime that took place on June 11, 2021, in Langley.
In other news, Kraken Security Labs found out some hardware and software vulnerabilities in the General Bytes BATMtwo (GBBATM2). The machines, which operate on Google’s Android operating system, include a default admin QR code that allows anyone with this QR code to compromise the ATMs.