The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom is taking action against unregistered cryptocurrency automated teller machines (ATMs).
The FCA and West Yorkshire Police’s cyber team have acted against various sites in and around Leeds, which are believed to be hosting illegally operated crypto ATMs.
The FCA has stressed that no crypto ATM operators in the country have registration with it. The authority has stated that all crypto exchange providers, including crypto ATM operators, must be registered with the FCA and comply with UK money laundering regulations.
The regulator is determined to disrupt unregistered crypto businesses and stated that crypto products are currently unregulated and high-risk. Therefore, investors should be prepared to lose all their money with crypto.
The FCA’s executive director of enforcement, Mark Steward, has warned that unregistered crypto ATMs operating in the UK are doing so illegally.
He added that the regulator will continue to take action against unregistered crypto businesses in the country.
According to data from Coin ATM Radar, at least 28 locations offer Bitcoin ATMs in the United Kingdom, and more than half of these are located in London. The data shows that there are additional locations in Birmingham, Manchester, and Nottingham.
The FCA’s recent action against crypto ATMs in the UK is not its first. In March 2022, the regulator issued a similar statement, calling on ATM operators to shut down or face further action.
Local enforcement officers have issued several warning letters to crypto ATM operators, requesting that they cease and desist using the machines, and any breach of regulations would result in an investigation under money-laundering regulations, according to police detective sergeant Lindsey Brants.