At least ten ‘Bitcoin ATMs’, also known as Bitcoin transaction machines, have been reported stolen in the last two years. Most recently, in a first for Canada, a Lamassu Bitcoin transaction machine was stolen last Sunday night from its Montreal location. Altogether, the ten machines approximate $40,000 worth of hardware.
Also Read: The US Reigns Supreme in the Bitcoin ATM Industry
Bitcoin ATM Theft In Montreal
At least one suspect broke into an Ahuntsic-Cartierville grocery store where a Lamassu-produced machine was located on January 22 at approximately 10:30 PM. The thief(s) broke the glass door of grocer Euromarché Latina 80, located at Laurentien Boulevard and Rue de Louisbourg, then loaded the Lamassu machine into a vehicle before fleeing.
Lamassu representative Neal Conner told Bitcoin.com: “This machine was subject to a common attack vector against traditional ATMs: a chain was wrapped around it and a vehicle dragged it out of the floor in which it had been anchored.” The ATM apparently busted through the grocer’s front doors.
Montreal has grown into somewhat of a “blockchain hub.” The city’s Bitcoin Embassy dubs itself “the world’s first blockchain technology hub.” There are 32 bitcoin machines in Montreal dispersed throughout the city. Most of them are located in the Ahuntsic-Cartierville borough, where the stolen Bitcoin ATM could be found until last night.
10 Bitcoin ATMs Reported Stolen
Bitcoin ATMs stolen in the past include at least three other Lamassu machines, three General Bytes machines and two BitAccess machines, according to data made available to Bitcoin.com by industry information portal Coinatmradar.
A Lamassu machine located at Village Smoke in Atlanta, operated by Coinfucius, was stolen in an incident in late 2015 involving shots fired, but no injuries. The assailant can be seen scoping out the small Bitcoin machine, unplugging it and carrying it out before a co-conspirator fires a warning shot at the ground to ward off any would-be vigilantes. See the video below:
Another Lamassu machine was stolen from the Stadscafe de Waag in the Netherlands. Also, a machine not available to the public in the Netherlands Bitpay office, was stolen according to Coinatmradar.
Three ATMs by General Bytes, a European-based producer, have been stolen. One, located in Norwalk and operated by Coinplug, was stolen from a Boost Mobile location. Two General Bytes machines were stolen in Dallas, both operated by ‘BTC Vending.’ One was located in Better Bright LED Lighting, while another at a Shell station.
Two Bitaccess machines have been stolen in the U.S. and in Europe. One machine, operated by Easybit, was stolen from Warie’s Thai Restaurant in the Netherlands. A second, operated by Coin Cloud, was stolen from 1 Stop Smoke Shop Vapor and Accessories in Albuquerque.
Lamassu and Instacoin
The Bitcoin ATM industry itself is comprised of those who design software and hardware applications to buy and sell bitcoins locally (producers) and those who buy machines from producers and deploy networks of Bitcoin ATMs (operators).
With 191 machines deployed globally (not all of which are currently operational), Lamassu represents the second largest Bitcoin ATM producer in the world. The company’s operators have bitcoin machines deployed across the world, including Canada, United Kingdom, United States, and Vietnam, and other regions, located in gas stations, grocery stores and cafes. Operators have “full control” of a machine’s back-end and private keys.
Instacoin operated the machine stolen Sunday. The Canada-based company has machines deployed solely in Canada, allowing you to buy and sell bitcoins for Canadian dollars. Lamassu told Bitcoin.com it is offering full-support to Instacoin in the theft’s wake.
Bitcoin ATMs are a Growing Industry
Altogether, the ten Bitcoin ATMs stolen, based on Coinatmradar data provided exclusively to Bitcoin.com, cost a lot of money. That is upwards of $40,000 worth of Bitcoin ATMs stolen since 2015, when the data begins. Bitcoin transaction machines have also been the victims of vandals in the midwestern section of the U.S. as of late.
Mr. Conner noted: “As Bitcoin ATMs are a growing industry, there will undoubtedly be further such instances as they become more widespread. With each, we and operators learn better practices for overall security and deterrence.”
What do you think of Bitcoin ATMs being stolen? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Pascal Girard/AGENCE QMI, Atlanta Police Department
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