UK’s FCA warns that no firm is approved to have crypto ATMs in the country

  • The FCA was given the power to regulate all crypto-related businesses in the United Kingdom back in January 2020.
  • There are 81 functioning Bitcoin ATMs in the United Kingdom that is controlled by at least eight operators.

The United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced a crackdown on crypto ATMs operating in the country. According to the regulatory body, all crypto ATMs must be registered and comply with the country’s money laundering regulations. Well, by now you should be aware of the ongoing crypto regulations popping out in different parts of the world. 

“Crypto ATMs offering crypto assets exchange services in the UK must be registered with us and comply with UK money laundering regulations,” the FCA said. It further added;

None of the crypto asset 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.

One could ask if it is a coincidence that the crackdown of crypto ATMs in the United Kingdom has happened during the Russia-Ukraine invasion. For sure, the crypto ATMs have been in operation for the past months and perhaps over a year. But surely, the FCA waited till now to act.

Reportedly, the ATMs were shipped from  Eastern Europe where regulations are looser compared to the UK. Furthermore, the European Union recently released a draft of crypto rules amendments that did not narrow down to ATM operators and machines. 

The UK announcing an immediate crackdown of crypto ATMs is a retrogressive attack on the digital assets industry. Moreover, ATMs bring everyday users to the crypto market, thus widening the crypto utility and intrinsic value. Thereby bridging a vital gateway between the traditional banking system and the blockchain crypto market.

FCA and the crypto market

Notably, the FCA was given the power to regulate all crypto-related businesses in the United Kingdom back in January 2020. As the crypto market grows, avenues of system lapse increase thus raising cases of money laundering.

Reportedly, there are 81 functioning Bitcoin ATMs in the United Kingdom that are controlled by at least eight operators. All of which are now stamped out of business henceforth. 

However, should the demand for crypto assets rise over time, then you can expect regulators to calm down and allow crypto ATMs to operate again. Meanwhile, crypto enthusiasts in the UK will have to use other means to liquidate digital assets to fiat. 

Such avenues include crypto exchanges like Binance that offer P2P services. Remember, the FCA recently denied Binance Market the UK’s market.

“Due to the imposition of requirements by the FCA, Binance Markets Limited is not currently permitted to undertake any regulated activities without the prior written consent of the FCA,” the regulator wrote late last year.

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