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FCA Cracks Down on Crypto ATMs in Three UK Cities

by Arnab Shome
  • It has gathered evidence and will decide on further action.
  • The agency is not authorizing any crypto ATM operators in the country.
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The UK’s top financial market regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), continues its crackdown on cryptocurrency ATMs as it recently took action against such sites in Exeter, Nottingham, and Sheffield.

FCA against Crypto ATMs

According to the regulatory announcement on Friday, the inspected sites in the three cities were in collaboration with local law enforcement. The agency is reviewing evidence collected from these sites and will decide on further action.

However, the official announcement did not provide any details on the number of crypto ATMs suspected to be operating in those cities.

“Crypto ATMs operating without FCA registration are illegal,” said Therese Chambers, the Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA. “The action we’ve taken over the past few months and wider work shows that we will act to stop illegal activity.”

“Besides disrupting unregistered crypto businesses, the joint efforts have helped raise awareness of illegally operated crypto ATMs in the UK among the public. This is especially important as crypto products are high-risk and not currently regulated. That means you should be prepared to lose all your money if you invest in them.”

Making Crypto Transactions Simple

Cryptocurrency ATMs work more or less like normal ATMs, allowing people to buy and sell cryptocurrencies on those physical machines in exchange for cash. According to CoinATMRadar, there are only 17 crypto ATMs operating in the UK, 11 of which are in London, while five are in Birmingham and one in Manchester.

The FCA clarified that the agency did not authorize any crypto ATM operators in the country, making all crypto ATM operations illegal.

Earlier this year, the financial market watchdog also cracked down on crypto ATMs operating in East London and Leeds and issued a warning on the illegality of such operations. According to the FCA, crypto ATMs may facilitate money laundering and other criminal activities.

“Criminals will use crypto ATMs to launder illegally obtained cash, so we were pleased to assist our colleagues at the FCA in targeting businesses in the region displaying these machines without authorization,” said Peter Highway, Economic Crime Unit Manager at the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit (SWROCU).

The UK’s top financial market regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), continues its crackdown on cryptocurrency ATMs as it recently took action against such sites in Exeter, Nottingham, and Sheffield.

FCA against Crypto ATMs

According to the regulatory announcement on Friday, the inspected sites in the three cities were in collaboration with local law enforcement. The agency is reviewing evidence collected from these sites and will decide on further action.

However, the official announcement did not provide any details on the number of crypto ATMs suspected to be operating in those cities.

“Crypto ATMs operating without FCA registration are illegal,” said Therese Chambers, the Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA. “The action we’ve taken over the past few months and wider work shows that we will act to stop illegal activity.”

“Besides disrupting unregistered crypto businesses, the joint efforts have helped raise awareness of illegally operated crypto ATMs in the UK among the public. This is especially important as crypto products are high-risk and not currently regulated. That means you should be prepared to lose all your money if you invest in them.”

Making Crypto Transactions Simple

Cryptocurrency ATMs work more or less like normal ATMs, allowing people to buy and sell cryptocurrencies on those physical machines in exchange for cash. According to CoinATMRadar, there are only 17 crypto ATMs operating in the UK, 11 of which are in London, while five are in Birmingham and one in Manchester.

The FCA clarified that the agency did not authorize any crypto ATM operators in the country, making all crypto ATM operations illegal.

Earlier this year, the financial market watchdog also cracked down on crypto ATMs operating in East London and Leeds and issued a warning on the illegality of such operations. According to the FCA, crypto ATMs may facilitate money laundering and other criminal activities.

“Criminals will use crypto ATMs to launder illegally obtained cash, so we were pleased to assist our colleagues at the FCA in targeting businesses in the region displaying these machines without authorization,” said Peter Highway, Economic Crime Unit Manager at the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit (SWROCU).

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