Government Report Suggests Tightening Regulations on Crypto ATMs

The use of crypto payments to facilitate illegal human and drug trafficking is rising, and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) is blaming crypto kiosks.

In a new study released Monday, the GAO – a government agency that provides auditing and investigative services for Congress – highlighted that the kiosks, also called crypto ATMs, were partly responsible for this surge because the machines are less regulated than crypto exchanges and transactions are more difficult to trace

“As [crypto] market usage expands, FBI officials said they expect to see an increase in the use of virtual currency kiosks for illicit purposes, including for human and drug trafficking,” the report said.

The agency suggested that the IRS and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) should work together and take a firmer hand in regulating the kiosks.

The report examined the use of cryptocurrencies in global trafficking operations and how U.S. agencies, including the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are countering the rise in crypto-facilitated crime.

The GAO also considered the challenges agencies face in fighting crypto crime, finding that a pervasive lack of information, especially about crypto kiosks (often referred to as crypto ATMs), was interfering with law enforcement’s ability to identify and stop criminals.