MADRID (Reuters) – Spanish police are investigating the robbery of a ‘bitcoin ATM’ in a raid on a cryptocurrency exchange outlet in a wealthy Barcelona neighbourhood, local media reported on Friday.
Bitcoin ATMs allow customers to purchase cryptocurrency using cash or a debit card, while some also let users to exchange their crypto holdings for cash.
According to data from the Coin ATM radar website, which tracks the location of crypto ATMs, Spain has 158 such machines, the highest number in Europe.
Catalonia’s Mossos d’Esquadra police force said an ATM had been stolen at around 3 a.m. and declined to provide any more information to avoid hindering the investigation.
Citing police sources, EFE news agency said thieves took the bitcoin ATM from a shop on Beethoven street in the Sarria area, home to a branch of the GBTC cryptocurrency exchange.
GBTC did not return multiple requests for comment and the police declined to confirm the exact location of the robbery.
An unverified video purporting to show the crime showed an SUV ramming into the closed shutters of the GBTC storefront before half a dozen or so people in hoods carried the cash machine into a second car waiting on the street.
One of the assailants sprayed a fire extinguisher at onlookers as the two cars sped off into the night.
(Reporting by Nathan Allen; Editing by Toby Chopra)