UK's financial watchdog is coming after unregistered crypto ATMs.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), a financial regulatory body in the United Kingdom operating independently from the UK Government, is set to take action against unregistered crypto automated teller machines (ATMs).
According to the press release published on February 14th, FCA partnered with West Yorkshire Police’s Digital Intelligence and Investigation Unit to gather evidence and investigate several sites around Leeds "suspected of hosting illegally operated crypto ATMs."
Did you know?
Want to get smarter & wealthier with crypto?
Subscribe - We publish new crypto explainer videos every week!
How to Avoid Rug Pulls in Crypto? (5 Ways Explained)
In the press release, FCA highlighted that all cryptocurrency exchanges, including crypto ATM operators, should receive FCA registration and comply with UK’s Money Laundering Regulations before starting to operate in the country.
The UK's financial regulator noted that no crypto ATM operators had obtained registration from the UK's FCA.
FCA Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight, Mark Steward, highlighted that “unregistered Crypto ATMs operating in the UK are doing so illegally.”
Moreover, Mark Steward reminded Brits that cryptocurrencies are “currently unregistered and high-risk,” noting that they should be prepared “to lose all your money if you invest in them.”
When talking about the investigation, West Yorkshire Police Cyber Team Detective Sergeant Lindsey Brants stated:
Warning letters were issued requesting the operators cease and desist using the machines and that any breach of regulations would result in an investigation under money-laundering regulations. We then shared our findings with the Financial Conduct Authority.
At the end of its press release, FCA emphasized that it is set to work hand in hand with “multiple law enforcement partners” to disrupt and disable illegal Crypto ATMs. On top of that, FCA said it will “review evidence gathered during these visits and consider further potential enforcement action.”
It is worth noting that FCA is set to tighten crypto advertising rules for all crypto-related firms operating in the United Kingdom.