Bitcoin ATM: New York Grants First Bitlicense; Berlin gets first Bitcoin ATM After Court Ruling

Bitcoin ATMs—teller machines that allow users carry out bitcoin-fiat transactions are one of the biggest tools that promote the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency. This week brought more opportunities to further propagate these machines as authorities in New York and Germany ok’ed their use of their use in their respective jurisdictions.

Coinsource Becomes First Bitcoin ATM Operator to get New York’s BitLicense

Bitcoin ATM operator, Coinsource announced that it has been granted the virtual currency license by New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS). According to the press statement published on its website on Thursday, Nov. 1, the operators noted that approval makes it the first DFS virtual currency licensee to operate Bitcoin Teller Machines (BTM).

According to the statement, the license allows the company to better serve its customers. CEO of Coinsource Sheffield Clark remarked:

“Now that Coinsource is a license holder, our customers can buy and sell with confidence that Coinsource meets and exceeds the high standards set by the New York Department of Financial Services.”

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Coinsource already has 40 bitcoin ATMs installed with New York City, Westchester and Nassau County.

Conditions for New York Virtual Currency License

As expected, the approval from the state regulators came with strict conditions meant to prevent fraud and ensure the safety of users. For its part, the New York DFS said it rigorously examined the application submitted by BTM operator.

Coinsource is expected to adhere to strict anti-money-laundering and terrorism-financing (AML/CFT). It was also directed to use “risk-based controls” to prevent the illegal use and abuse of bitcoin, such as market manipulation.

Financial Services Superintendent Maria T. Vullo noted the conditions were necessary for customer safety. She said, “Today’s approval is a further step in implementing strong regulatory safeguards and effective risk-based controls while encouraging the responsible growth of financial innovation.”

Despite the conditions attached to the approval, Coinsource is upbeat about the

New York represents not just a center of global innovation but also one of our largest target markets. We are extremely proud to be the only BTM operator holding a New York virtual currency license.”

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Coinsource aims to increase the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency by making it more convenient to access cryptocurrency. As Smartereum reported, the BTM operator installed 20 bitcoin ATMs across Washington in April to meet the demand in the region. Before then, the region had only 5 such bitcoin teller machines.

Berlin Court Overrules Regulation for Bitcoin ATM

Bitcoin ATM operators in Germany may not have to worry about obtaining licenses after a court sitting in Berlin ruled that bitcoin teller machines were not within the jurisdiction of the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin).

According to the ruling, bitcoin and cryptocurrency did not constitute money and therefore there was no need to get permission from the regulators. Before the ruling, BTM operators were required to get compulsory approval from BaFin; they will be offenders if they didn’t.

Following the Ruling, a Casino operator in Munich has become the first to import a BTM without express approval from BaFin according to local reports. Monte24 Casino and Video Store were said to have imported the bitcoin ATM form Austria which has a more crypto-friendly regulatory climate.

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According to the reports, BaFin says they “respectfully acknowledge” the court’s decision.

Despite this, there are concerns that the leeway may be short-lived, particularly as the Kammergericht’s decision was silent on long-term operation of BTMs.

Local news outlet t3n explains:

“Whether the ATM will be found in Munich for a longer period remains unclear and depends on how long the judgment can remain in force.”

BaFin does not seem to be letting go of the matter soon, as its representative suggested that the ruling was as to whether cryptocurrency constituted a unit of account as per the law and was quite different from operating bitcoin ATMs.