FCA crackdown on Crypto ATMs continues as operators avoid registration

Rick Steves

“Crypto ATMs operating without FCA registration are illegal and, as today shows, we will take action to stop this.”

The Financial Conduct Authority, UK’s financial watchdog, is cracking down on crypto ATMs in a joint operation with the Metropolitan Police, which is inspecting several sites in East London suspected of hosting illegally operating such machines.

The FCA will review evidence gathered during these visits and consider taking further action where necessary.

Crypto ATMs are required to register with the FCA

According to the FCA, there are currently no crypto ATM operators registered with the regulator, although they are required to do so to operate legally.

The government agency has previously inspected several sites in Leeds suspected of hosting unregistered crypto ATMs, alongside West Yorkshire Police.

Mark Steward, Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA, said: “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.”

Nearly 100 crypto ATMs operating illegally in the UK

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.

While the FCA hasn’t given the go-ahead to any crypto firm offering ATM services, there were nearly 100 crypto ATMs in the United Kingdom last year.

Since March 2022 that the FCA calls crypto ATM operators to register and comply with UK money laundering regulations as these businesses operate on the sidelines.

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