UK’s FCA to ‘Disrupt’ Illegal Cryptocurrency ATMs

Lavina Daryanani
Source: ATM Industry Association

Cryptocurrency Automated Teller Machines [ATMs] have played a crucial role in fostering mainstream adoption. Such machines are nothing but kiosks that allow investors to purchase Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies either via cash or debit/credit cards.

Despite being in a bear market last year, ATM installations kept taking place. In Canada, Bitcoin ATMs recorded 28% surge last year. Parallelly, a host of Shiba Inu and Bitcoin ATMs were installed in around 59 Latino Grocery Stores in the U.S. in 2022.

Also Read – Shiba Inu & Bitcoin ATMs Installed in 59 Latino Grocery Stores in the U.S.

UK regulator comes after cryptocurrency ATMs

However, to set up such machines, a few regulatory boxes have to be checked. In the UK, for instance, cryptocurrency businesses need to be registered with the FCA for anti-money laundering purposes.

Recently, UK’s Financial Conduct Authority and West Yorkshire Police’s Digital Intelligence and Investigation Unit conducted a joint operation in this regard. They gathered evidence from several sites during their inspection.

Also Read – This CEO Predicts Bitcoin Could Reach ‘$10M’ by 2032

The report highlighted that no cryptocurrency ATM operators currently have an FCA registration. The agency previously warned all operators and hosts about the legal consequences of not officially registering with it. At the moment, the FCA is working with multiple law enforcement partners to “disrupt and disable” illegal Crypto ATMs. 

Commenting on similar lines, Mark Steward, Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA, said,

“Unregistered Crypto ATMs operating in the UK are doing so illegally. We will continue to identify and disrupt unregistered crypto businesses operating in the UK.”

The regulator also went on warn investors about losing money and asserted that cryptocurrency products itself are unregulated and highly risky investments.

Also Read – Canada: Bitcoin ATMs record 28% surge amidst price bear market