Matthew Klinger – a 51-year-old Jefferson City, Missouri resident – received five years of supervised probation after admitting to shooting a bitcoin ATM with a handgun.
It remains unclear whether the machine had any faults, however, he said he did it “so that it could not take money from anyone else.”
So Close to a Prison Sentence
Recent coverage informed that Klinger arrived at Vapor Maven on Missouri Boulevard in August last year and requested to talk to the general manager of the store (where the ATM was placed). After hanging up, he took out his handgun, fired five rounds into the machine, and left the scene.
Klinger told investigators he went home after the violent act, admitted everything to his wife, and called the police. He also left the weapon on the porch of his home.
When asked about his motives behind the shooting, he said he ravaged the bitcoin ATM “so that it could not take money from anyone else.”
He pleaded guilty in Cole County to first-degree property damage last week and got five years of supervised probation. Such criminals are assigned to a law enforcement officer who monitors their actions and ensures they obey the court’s ruling. It is an alternative form of jail but could become a prison sentence in case of misbehaving.
The Spread of Bitcoin ATMs Across the Globe
The number of bitcoin automated teller machines (ATMs) has increased significantly in the past few years (mainly driven by the bull market and the high interest in crypto in 2021). The first such machinery saw the light of day in October 2013, while now there are over 35,000.
The USA, where the aforementioned shooting took place, is home to 32,650 bitcoin ATMs and is the undisputable leader in that statistic. Canada is second with 2,669, and Australia ranks third with 276. Spain, Poland, and El Salvador round up the top 5.
2021 (when bitcoin reached its all-time high of nearly $70K) saw more than 20,000 ATMs being set up. The craze even reached troubled economies, including Cambodia, Namibia, Venezuela, Lebanon, and more, whose authorities allowed the assembling of such machines.
The prolonged crypto winter in 2022, though, slowed down the temps. As CryptoPotato reported, the first 11 months of last year witnessed the installation of just 6,100 new ATMs.
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