02-14-2023 icon

FCA chases after illegal crypto ATMs

By Lucy Adegbe
digital currency

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is cracking down on unregistered crypto ATMs. The FCA is the financial watchdog in the United Kingdom.

The regulator says it recently entered and inspected several sites near the city of Leeds, in the North of England, which was suspected of hosting illegally operated crypto ATMs.

The FCA says it collaborated with local police forces, including the West Yorkshire Police’s Digital Intelligence and Investigation Unit, as part of the joint investigations into these sites.

“Crypto businesses operating in the UK need to be registered with the FCA for anti-money laundering purposes,” said the FCA’s executive director of enforcement and market oversight Mark Steward. “However, crypto products themselves are currently unregulated and high-risk, and you should be prepared to lose all your money if you invest in them.”

As per the announcement, the FCA is set to review the evidence it collected during these visits and will consider further enforcement.

In March 2022, the regulator wrote to all operators and hosts to warn crypto ATMs about the legal consequences of running crypto ATMs without FCA authorization

Though there is technically no specific law against crypto ATMs in the UK, none have been granted the regulator approval as of the time of writing.