FCA orders crypto ATM operators in UK to shut down all machines now or face punishment
The Financial Conduct Authority has told the operators of all 81 Bitcoin ATMs in the UK to shut the machines down immediately, or face enforcement action.
“Crypto ATMs offering cryptoasset exchange services in the UK must be registered with us and comply with UK Money Laundering Regulations (MLR),” the FCA declared this afternoon.
“None of the cryptoasset firms registered with us have been approved to offer crypto ATM services, meaning that any of them operating in the UK are doing so illegally and consumers should not be using them.”
The majority of the crypto cash dispensers in the UK are located within convenience stores and supermarkets.
The Upper Tribunal recently ruled against Gidiplus – a firm offering crypto ATM services – which wanted to continue trading, pending the Upper Tribunal’s determination of its appeal against the FCA refusing its application for registration under the MLRs. The judge concluded there was a ‘lack of evidence as to how Gidiplus would undertake its business in a broadly compliant fashion’.
“We are concerned about crypto ATM machines operating in the UK and will therefore be contacting the operators instructing that the machines be shut down or face further action,” warned the authority.
“Since we published the list of unregistered crypto firms that may have been continuing to conduct business, a recent assessment found that 110 are no longer operational.
“We regularly warn consumers that cryptoassets are unregulated and high-risk which means people are very unlikely to have any protection if things go wrong, so people should be prepared to lose all their money if they choose to invest in them.”
Almost 34,000 crypto ATMs are fully operational across the globe, with more than half located in the US.