Bitcoin ATMs – According to a letter released on Friday by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, bitcoin and other cryptocurrency ATMs that allow individuals to purchase and trade crypto are banned in the UK. According to the government authority, anyone currently operating a Bitcoin ATM is doing so unlawfully and must cease operations.
The Financial Conduct Authority said on its website that “crypto ATMs offering crypto assets exchange services in the UK must be registered with us and comply with UK Money Laundering Regulations.”
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the United Kingdom announced on Friday that all crypto ATMs in the country were functioning illegally, and ordered operators to take them down immediately.
The UK’s top financial regulator stated that operators were required to follow UK money laundering legislation, which none had done. The ATMs, which allow customers to convert crypto into fiat and vice versa, have few inspections, according to the regulator, and might be used to launder money.
“None of the crypto asset firms registered with us have been allowed to offer crypto ATM services,” the FCA stated. “This means that any crypto asset firms operating in the UK are doing so illegally, and consumers should not use them.”
It’s unclear how many bitcoin ATMs are currently operational in the United Kingdom, while Coin ATM Tracker reports there are currently 84 in the country. The same website lists over 34,000 crypto ATMs in the United States alone, the world’s greatest number.
Bitcoin ATM in UK
According to coinatmradar, there are approximately 70 crypto ATMs in operation in the United Kingdom right now.
The Financial Conduct Authority has always taken a cautious approach to cryptocurrencies. Between April and September 2021, the body said it has opened more than 300 cases involving crypto assets. It is now conducting 50 investigations into unlicensed crypto firms, including criminal probes.
Bitcoin crackdown in UK
It had also specified tight prohibitions on advertisements for crypto items earlier this year. The agency continued to warn consumers about the unregulated and high-risk characteristics of cryptocurrency in its announcement on Friday.
“We are worried about crypto ATM machines functioning in the UK,” the FCA said in a statement. “We will be contacting the operators and demanding that the machines be shut down or face further action.”
“Since we published the list of unregistered crypto businesses that may have been conducting business,” the FCA stated, “a recent evaluation indicated that 110 are no longer functioning.”
What’s behind the UK’s recent assault on bitcoin? It appears to be motivated by concerns about money laundering, as well as the fact that crypto ATMs don’t always have ways of identifying who is using them.
Crypto ATM Gray Area
Since its creation, crypto ATMs have been subjected to a great deal of regulatory scrutiny due to their potential to convert bitcoin into cash quickly and anonymously. All ATM providers in the United States are required to have written anti-money laundering programs in their machines.
With more than 30,000 sites, the United States has the most crypto ATMs in the world.
Singapore, a crypto hotspot, barred crypto ATMs earlier this year as part of a tighter stance to safeguard investors from crypto-related frauds and volatility. The Monetary Authority of Singapore, for example, has warned that ATMs may encourage people to acquire cryptocurrency without contemplating the risks, leaving them vulnerable to the market’s high volatility.
El Salvador, on the other hand, which legalized Bitcoin last year, has a large number of Bitcoin ATMs. More than 200 machines are located across the country.