What is Going On?
- The UK financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has taken legal action against unregulated crypto ATMs in London.
- The FCA believes that unregistered crypto ATMs are “high risk” and could be used for illicit activities such as money laundering.
- The FCA is working with law enforcement partners to take action against operators of illegal crypto ATMs.
UK FCA Crackdown on Crypto ATMs
Crypto ATMs are one of the most popular technologies within the cryptocurrency industry. They are stand-alone machines that allow users to buy and sell crypto assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum in exchange for cash. However, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has seen this technology as a threat if it does not comply with regulations or register itself under any legal force. Mark Steward, Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA stated “Crypto ATMs operating without FCA registration is illegal” and “we [FCA] will take action to stop this.” Last month, the FCA issued warnings to unregistered crypto ATM providers in the UK region, ordering them to cease all operations immediately. Legal proceedings shall be taken against providers who fail to comply with its warnings.
High Risk of Illicit Activities
The FCA believes that unregistered crypto ATMs pose a high risk when it comes to illicit activities such as money laundering. The regulatory body is currently working with National Economic Crime Centre and Metropolitan Police officers to inspect several sites suspected of hosting illegally operating crypto ATMs using their enforcement powers.
Regulation of Crypto Assets
As cryptocurrency adoption continues to grow rapidly around the world, regulators like the FCA have been trying their best to stay up-to-date with developments in the industry by introducing regulations and laws. This means that businesses need to register themselves in order for their products or services related to cryptocurrencies or blockchain technology can be legally accepted by customers across countries.
“Illegal” Crypto ATM Providers Face Severe Action
The FCA has made it clear that any providers who fail adhere its warning will face legal actions from them if they continue operating their business without registering first. The regulator aims at curbing any risks associated with unregistered crypto ATM providers by taking appropriate measures against them.