: FCA Cracks Down on High-Risk Crypto ATMs in London
• The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued a warning to unregulated crypto ATMs operating in London that they must cease operations immediately.
• The FCA believes these ATMs are “high risk” and could be advantageous for illegal activities such as money laundering.
• The FCA is working with law enforcement partners and the National Economic Crime Centre to coordinate action against operators of illegal crypto ATMs.
UK FCA Crackdown on Crypto ATMs
The UK financial watchdog, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has taken legal action against unregulated crypto ATMs in the city of London. Crypto ATMs are stand-alone machines that allow users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum in exchange for cash, but regulators now believe it is a threat if not regulated or registered under any legal force.
Mark Steward, Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA, stated in a press release published earlier today: “Crypto ATMs operating without FCA registration is illegal” and “we [FCA] will take action to stop this.” This followed warnings last month from the regulatory body to unregistered crypto ATM providers in the UK region ordering them to cease all operations immediately. If not complied with, legal proceedings shall be taken against providers who fail to comply.
The FCA believes unregistered crypto ATMs are “high risk” and could be advantageous for illicit activities such as money laundering. Therefore, it plans on using its powers to inspect several sites in East London suspected of hosting illegally operating crypto ATMs. Furthermore, it is also in a joint operation with the Metropolitan Police inspecting several sites using their enforcement powers.
Regulation For Crypto Assets
As the cryptocurrency industry continues to grow rapidly, several regulators including the FCA have tried to keep up with every development within this space by regulating firms offering services related to cryptocurrencies such as exchanges, custodians etcetera. In addition, they have also been educating consumers about risks associated with investing in cryptocurrency assets through campaigns like “BeCryptoAware”.
Regulators have continued clamping down on several sectors within the cryptocurrency industry due its high risk potentials for illicit activities like money laundering which poses a threat towards investors’ safety when dealing with digital assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum