The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has recently intensified its crackdown on unregistered crypto ATMs operating in the United Kingdom.

The FCA, in conjunction with local authorities, has inspected several sites in Exeter, Nottingham, and Sheffield suspected of hosting illegally operating crypto ATMs.

This move follows similar enforcement actions in East London in March and near Leeds in February. The FCA warned that crypto ATMs operating without its registration are illegal and that it will take necessary measures to stop unlawful activities.

Therese Chambers, the executive director of enforcement and market oversight of FCA, stressed the importance of disrupting unregistered crypto businesses, noting that crypto products are high risk and currently unregulated.

She also stated that the FCA’s joint efforts with local authorities have raised awareness of illegally operated crypto ATMs in the UK.

Peter Highway, the Economic Crime Unit Manager at the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit, emphasized the dangers of unlawful crypto ATM activities, citing that criminals will use crypto ATMs to launder illegally obtained cash.

The FCA’s inspections were conducted under the UK’s Money Laundering Regulations from 2017, and the regulator intends to analyze the material obtained to take further action if necessary.

Currently, CoinATMRadar data indicates that there are 17 crypto ATMs in the United Kingdom, operated by entities such as Big Sea Coins, BD ATMs, Cryptobitecoin, and Computer House. It remains unknown if any of these entities are registered under the FCA.