In a newly released position paper, the ATM Industry Association encouraged additional supervision of bitcoin operators, citing a lack of accountability and a potential to be targeted by money launderers and cybercriminals.
According to ATMIA, while the future of bitcoin is uncertain, it is a significant development in the payments space and is on track to become “an important global currency.”
The group said, however, that because of its decentralization, more than 120 bitcoin ATMS in Canada, the U.S., China, Australia and Europe require additional supervision.
“We reach out our hand of friendship to BitCoin ATM operators and encourage them to come within the fold of our industry and its governance framework and best practices,” ATMIA CEO Mike Lee said “[T]he time is right to integrate [bitcoin ATMs] upfront into an industry with a proven four decade-long track record of secure, convenient services to cardholders and consumers.”
ATMIA said the best way to prevent and mitigate the risk of fraud, cybercrime and money laundering is to integrate bitcoin ATMs into the mainstream ATM industry.
The organization recommended a clarification of conditions for a “license to operate” for bitcoin ATMs and communication between bitcoin operators and the payments industry, as well as an international accreditation program.
“As the only global trade association for the ATM industry, ATMIA believes bitcoin ATMs should be well-governed to ensure they provide trusted, secure, transparent transactions within the payments industry,” the paper said. “ATMIA strives to develop innovative solutions to enhance consumer convenience, choice and security in payments and would welcome a professional peer relationship with bitcoin ATM operators.”