UK’s Financial Watchdog Orders Crypto ATMs to Shut Services, Reveals None Have Official Permits

UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has ordered all crypto ATMs operating in the country to suspend services with immediate effect. The British financial watchdog has noted that none of the registered crypto asset firms have been permitted to operate ATM services, insinuating that these operational facilities are currently illegal. Law enforcement agencies have been directed to take action against the crypto ATM providers that fail to adhere to UK’s laws and regulations around the digital assets sector.

Over 80 crypto ATM machines have been identified in parts of UK so far, after a judge ruled against one operator named Gidiplus.

“Crypto ATMs offering crypto asset exchange services in the UK must be registered with us and comply with UK Money Laundering Regulations (MLR). None of the crypto asset firms registered with us have been approved to offer crypto ATM services,” the FCA said in a statement.

In recent years, images of crypto ATMs being installed in UK have surfaced multiple times on Twitter.

UK has, so far, maintained a very calculative approach towards the crypto sector.

Not only has it acted against crypto promoting advertisements being displayed on public platforms, but it has also begun inching closer to establishing a regulatory framework around the digital finance sector.

“We regularly warn consumers that crypto assets are unregulated and high-risk which means people are very unlikely to have any protection if things go wrong, so people should be prepared to lose all their money if they choose to invest in them,” the FCA added.

A recent survey by the FCA revealed that 69 percent of crypto investors believed that these assets are regulated by the FCA. Following this revelation, the body has decided to bring in strict rules against the promotion of high-risk investments in the country. Most of these people are aged between 18-40, a report by London-based news portal City AM said recently.

Meanwhile, besides the UK, crypto ATMs have cropped up in other nations as well. Bitcoin ATMs are becoming a thing in the US as well as other nations with an increase in adoption.

In October, Walmart had announced the installation of 200 Bitcoin ATMs in select store branches located across the US — to allow visitors to purchase the crypto-coin.

In El Salvador for instance, Bitcoin ATMs allow people to transact in the crypto token or convert it to fiat.

Last year, US’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had warned people against using crypto ATMs, especially the ones that advertise anonymity for transactions.

“These cryptocurrency ATMs may be non-compliant with US federal regulations and may facilitate money laundering. Instructions to use cryptocurrency ATMs with these specific characteristics are a significant indicator of fraud,” the FBI had noted at the time.

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