UK Widens Crackdown on Unauthorized Crypto ATMs
Britain’s top financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has widened its crackdown on unauthorized cryptocurrency ATMs. “There are currently no crypto ATM operators registered with the FCA, which they must be to operate legally,” the regulator noted.
FCA Cracks Down on Illegal Crypto ATMs
Britain’s top financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), announced Wednesday that it has taken further action against unregistered crypto ATMs in East London in collaboration with the Metropolitan Police, the largest police force in the U.K.
The announcement followed a series of raids the FCA conducted in collaboration with the West Yorkshire Police on several sites suspected of hosting unregistered crypto ATMs around Leeds.
According to the regulator:
The FCA has used its powers to inspect several sites in East London suspected of hosting illegally operating crypto ATMs, as it continues its crackdown on the illicit sector.
“Crypto products are not currently regulated and they are high risk,” said Mark Steward, Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA. He warned that anyone investing in them should be prepared to lose all their money. Steward emphasized:
Crypto ATMs operating without FCA registration are illegal and, as today shows, we will take action to stop this.
The FCA further said that it is currently working with the National Economic Crime Centre “to plan and coordinate action with law enforcement partners against operators of illegal crypto ATMs.”
The FCA regularly warns consumers that crypto assets are “unregulated and high-risk.” In the U.K., businesses offering crypto services, including crypto ATM operators, must be registered with the FCA and comply with the U.K. money laundering regulations. The FCA announcement clarifies:
There are currently no crypto ATM operators registered with the FCA, which they must be to operate legally.
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