UK FCA Initiates Further Action Against Unregulated Crypto ATMs

UK FCA Initiates Further Action Against Unregulated Crypto ATMs

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With the crypto space continuing to remain in the doldrums, regulators have continued to crack the whip on several sectors of the ecosystem. The latest target is unregulated crypto ATMs in London. 

Crypto ATMs have become relatively popular over the past few years, allowing users to sell cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum in exchange for cash. 

Crackdown On Unregistered Crypto ATMs 

The Financial Conduct Authority has initiated further action against unregistered crypto ATMs located in East London. The move comes as it doubles down on its efforts to shut down the unregulated ATMs. The FCA stated in a press release published on its website that it had, in a joint operation with the Metropolitan Police, inspected several sites and used its enforcement powers. 

While crypto ATMs have become quite popular, the FCA sees them as a threat as long as they remain unregulated or register themselves under the relevant legal and regulatory body. The Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight, Mark Steward, stated in the press release, 

“Crypto ATMs operating without FCA registration are illegal and, as today shows, we will take action to stop this. This operation, alongside last month’s action in Leeds, sends a clear message that we will continue to identify and disrupt unregistered crypto businesses in the UK. 

Crypto products are not currently regulated, and they are high-risk. You should be prepared to lose all your money if you invest in them.”

A Tough Stance 

The FCA has, in recent times, taken an exceptionally tough stance when it comes to crypto ATMs and has been coordinating with law enforcement agencies in an attempt to shut them down entirely. The crackdown on crypto ATMs in the London area comes after the regulatory body had issued several warnings to unregistered crypto ATM providers based in the United Kingdom and ordered them to stop all operations with immediate effect. The agency added that failure to comply with its warnings would result in legal proceedings against the providers in question. 

Crypto ATMs Are “High Risk” 

The FCA believes that unregistered crypto ATMs pose a high risk and can be used for illicit activities such as money laundering. The FCA stated that it is working with the National Economic Crime Centre to devise and coordinate action along with law enforcement agencies to initiate action against those entities that operate illegal crypto ATMs. The press release stated, 

“The FCA is currently working with the National Economic Crime Centre to plan and coordinate action with law enforcement partners against operators of illegal crypto ATMs. This follows similar activity in Leeds, where the FCA inspected several sites suspected of hosting unregistered crypto ATMs alongside West Yorkshire Police.”

Crypto Regulation And The FCA 

The crypto industry has seen rapid evolution and a surge in adoption. As a result, regulators, including the FCA, have targeted crypto firms in an attempt to regulate them. The FCA recently began the regulation of crypto firms operating in the United Kingdom, stating that they required regulatory approval to operate. Out of the 300 firms that applied for regulatory approval from the FCA, only 41 were cleared, while the rest were rejected. 

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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