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Get the latest coverage of the 2024 Florida legislative session in Tallahassee from our coverage partners and WUSF.

Crypto kiosks targeted by Florida lawmakers

A bearded man in a yellow shirt holds up a smartphone in one hand to a Bitcoin crypto kiosk.

Florida legislators are moving to tighten regulation on the exchange of virtual currency.

Florida legislators are moving to tighten regulation on the exchange of virtual currency.

SB 662, sponsored by Republican Polk County Sen. Colleen Burton, will regulate cryptocurrency kiosks to stem fraud and crime.

Crypto kiosks have been popping up in gas stations and other stores across the country in recent years, but they aren’t backed by banks or other traditional financial institutions. At the kiosks, users can purchase crypto in-person or exchange it for physical cash without being traceable to a computer like normal crypto transactions are.

Traditional ATMS and other financial kiosks are required to register with the state and be transparent about things like fees. During committee discussion on her bill, Burton said she wants those same regulations to apply to crypto kiosks to prevent Floridians from being the targets of fraud.

“The losses of those scams have exceeded 21 million dollars. This bill provides consumer protections through warning on the kiosks themselves as well as additional regulation from the office of financial regulation,” she said.

Burton’s bill requires kiosk owners to be able to trace virtual wallet transactions so they can be monitored for illicit activity and be reported to law enforcement. Other states like California and New York have similar regulations.

The measure passed its first committee unanimously.

Tristan Wood is a senior producer and host with WFSU Public Media. A South Florida native and University of Florida graduate, he focuses on state government in the Sunshine State and local panhandle political happenings.