UK FCA to take action against unregistered, illegal cryptocurrency ATMs

The United Kingdom’s financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), is starting to deal with unregistered ATMs (ATMs) with cryptocurrencies.

The FCA and the West Yorkshire Police Cyber ​​Squad have taken action against several sites in and around the city of Leeds suspected of hosting illegally used crypto ATMs.

Announcing the news February 14, FCA underlined that no UK currency ATM operator has an FCA registration. The authorities have said that all crypto exchange providers, including crypto ATM operators, must be registered with the FCA and comply with UK money laundering regulations.

“Unregistered crypto ATMs operating in the UK are doing so illegally,” FCA chief enforcement officer Mark Steward said, adding that the regulator will continue to discourage unregistered crypto business in the country. The chief executive also noted that crypto products are “currently unregulated and high risk,” warning investors to be prepared to lose all their money with crypto.

According to Police Sgt. Lindsey Brants, local law enforcement officials sent several warning letters to crypto ATM operators demanding that they stop using these machines. “Any violation of the rules will result in an investigation under money laundering rules,” he added.

UK FCA hints at why only 15% of crypto firms have received regulatory approval

The FCA’s actions against crypto ATMs appear to affect a significant number of ATM operators as there are at least 28 locations. providing Bitcoin ATMs (BTC) in the United Kingdom, according to Coin ATM Radar. The data shows that over 50% of these cryptocurrency ATMs are located in London, with additional locations near Birmingham, Manchester and Nottingham.

Bitcoin ATMs in the UK. Source: Coin ATM Radar

However, the latest attack on cryptocurrency ATMs in the UK is not the first such action taken by the FCA. In March 2022, the same body issued a similar statement to shut down Bitcoin ATMs in the country, urging ATM operators to “shut down or face further action.”

At the time of writing FCA published registered with a total of 41 crypto firms in the United Kingdom, including platforms such as Gemini, Zodia Custody, Bitpanda, Revolut and others.

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