The Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom (UK) in an announcement posted on Friday has warned operators of all illegal crypto ATMs working in the country to shut down or face enforcement action.
According to the UK’s central financial regulator, any ATMs providing cryptoasset exchange services in the country must be registered with the FCA to offer ATM services and adhere to Money Laundering Regulations (MLR). They said that any ATM services violating these conditions and are operating in the UK are doing so illegally and consumers should not be using them.
“Crypto ATMs offering cryptoasset exchange services in the UK must be registered with us and comply with UK Money Laundering Regulations,” the FCA announced on its website.
“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.”
As per data from Coin ATM Radar, there are currently eight providers controlling 80 different Bitcoin ATMs that are primarily located in supermarkets and convenience shops in the UK, none of which are actually licensed by the FCA.
These ATMs allow users to exchange cryptocurrencies for cash and vice versa with minimal background checks, particularly for smaller deposits. In contrast to the regular cash ATMs that demand users’ personal information, these crypto ATMs collect no such information raising concerns that these machines could be used for money laundering.
Gidiplus, a firm offering crypto ATM services, appealed against FCA for refusing its application for registering as a cryptoasset exchange provider under the MLRs. However, the UK’s Upper Tribunal ruled against the company, citing that there was a ‘lack of evidence as to how Gidiplus would undertake its business in a broadly compliant fashion’.
From the time, FCA has published the list of unregistered crypto firms operating illegally, 110 of them are now no longer operational.