Bit­coin cash­point in­stalled

Hinckley Times - - NEWS -

OFF-LI­CENCE boss Rakesh Od­e­dra has in­stalled one of Leicester’s first Bit­coin cash­points.

The new ma­chine went live yes­ter­day at Kesh’s Wines and News in Braun­stone.

Mr Od­e­dra, owner of the Guthridge Cres­cent shop, said cus­tomers can use the ATM to buy or sell the crypto-cur­rency di­rectly to or from their elec­tronic smart­phone “wal­let”.

Coins are trans­ferred di­rectly from per­son to per­son and are kept in a dig­i­tal wal­let that can be ac­cessed on a com­puter or mo­bile de­vice.

There has been huge de­mand in re­cent weeks from peo­ple in­vest­ing in Bit­coin around the world - forc­ing its value through the roof.

On Wed­nes­day a sin­gle Bit­coin was val­ued at more than £12,300 as more and more buy­ers took a punt.

De­spite its value climb­ing nearly 1,500 per cent since the start of the year, fi­nan­cial heavy­weights are di­vided over the dig­i­tal cur­rency’s sig­nif­i­cance.

Jamie Di­mon, boss of US bank­ing and fi­nan­cial ser­vices gi­ant JP Mor­gan re­cently branded Bit­coin a “fraud” and there are fears the bub­ble could soon burst.

There have also been con­cerns crooks could use the cash ma­chines to laun­der dirty money.

Many young en­trepreneurs, how­ever, have made for­tunes af­ter in­vest­ing prior to the boom.

Bit­coin was launched in 2009, with trans­ac­tions made be­tween com­put­ers.

This means they are in­de­pen­dent of cen­tral banks and dif­fi­cult to trace.

Mr Od­e­dra said he had been fas­ci­nated to hear about the ma­chines and hoped it would boost foot­fall at his store from hon­est peo­ple cu­ri­ous to be part of the lat­est trend by buy­ing frac­tions of in­di­vid­ual coins.

“You can use it to buy Bit­coins us­ing cash – for up to £250 you don’t need ID,” he ex­plained.

“Then, for £250, you have to have the se­cu­rity of a mo­bile phone.

“For any­thing over £500 you have to sign up with the Bit­coin ATM com­pany.

“I read about this in a trade pa­per and the op­por­tu­nity came up to be one of the first.

“It’s ba­si­cally for any­one who wants to jump on the band­wagon.

“You just in­sert your money and get a re­ceipt or scan the app on your smart­phone.”

Ear­lier this month Scot­land Yard warned that il­le­gal cash could be de­posited into the ma­chines.

De­tec­tive Su­per­in­ten­dent Nick Stevens, of the Met’s Se­ri­ous and Or­gan­ised Crime Com­mand, said of­fi­cers had iden­ti­fied the use of cryp­tocur­rency in or­gan­ised crime.

“Cryp­tocur­ren­cies are not il­le­gal, but they are un­reg­u­lated, de­cen­tralised cur­ren­cies that can be quickly trans­ferred across bor­ders and then con­verted into the cur­rency of the coun­try where the funds are re­ceived,” he said.

“Or­gan­ised crim­i­nal groups have been early adopters of cryp­tocur­ren­cies to evade tra­di­tional money laun­der­ing checks and statu­tory reg­u­la­tions.

“Crim­i­nals have also used cryp­tocur­ren­cies to pur­chase il­le­gal com­modi­ties on dark mar­ket sites with anonymity.”

The Met be­lieves there are 91 cryp­tocur­rency ATMs across the UK.

And Det Sup Stevens said the Met is in­ves­ti­gat­ing sev­eral or­gan­ised crime groups that use cryp­tocur­ren­cies to run their ac­tiv­i­ties across a range of crime types in­clud­ing drugs, firearms, mod­ern slav­ery and child ex­ploita­tion.

A crack­down is also be­ing mounted by the Govern­ment on Bit­coin, amid rising con­cerns about money laun­der­ing and tax eva­sion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.