U.K. Authorities Raid Sites With Illegal Crypto ATMs

Paigambar Mohan Raj
Source: City A.M.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the U.K.’s (United Kingdom) financial watchdog, is keeping up its campaign against illegal crypto ATMs. Along with the local police, the FCA claimed to have visited locations in Exeter, Nottingham, and Sheffield. As per the agency, such crypto ATMs, that convert fiat money into cryptocurrency, are a risk for money laundering. None of the cryptocurrency ATMs are registered with the FCA, according to a statement released by the agency on Friday.

Therese Chambers, Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA said that the agency will not stop its crusade against illegal activities.

According to the FCA, it is presently reviewing the information obtained during its inspection. They did not, however, state what additional steps they might take. The recent raids come after enforcement actions were launched in March in Leeds and East London.

The CoinATMRadar website stated that there are 17 crypto ATMs in the U.K. The FCA asserts that none of the roughly 40 registered cryptocurrency businesses have permission to provide such a service.

U.K. ahead of the U.S. in terms of crypto regulation?

In late April, the European Union published the final version of its comprehensive markets in crypto assets (MiCA) regulations. Moreover, with the EU’s 27 member states being expected to abide by the new regulation, other countries, like the U.K., might feel some pressure to expedite the implementation of their own crypto regulations.

According to U.K. Treasury Economic Secretary Andrew Griffith, the government plans to introduce special cryptocurrency legislation in the coming 12 months. However, the U.K. is already falling short of EU regulations when it comes to the crypto industry. Additionally, industry lobbyists claim that this may have a significant impact on U.K. policymakers.

Nonetheless, in the U.S. crypto regulations remains in question. Several organizations have approached the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) for some clarity on the matter, with no success. Popular crypto exchange Coinbase has gone as far as to sue the SEC for the lack of clarity around crypto. However, how the SEC decides to proceed remains unknown.