• The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the United Kingdom is cracking down on unregistered cryptocurrency ATMs.
• Potential connections between these ATMs and organized crime have been highlighted all over the world.
• Crypto businesses operating in the UK must register with the FCA for anti-money laundering purposes.
FCA Cracking Down On Unregistered Cryptocurrency ATMs
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the United Kingdom is taking action against unregistered cryptocurrency ATMs, due to potential connections between these machines and organized crime. As part of this effort, they entered and inspected several sites near Leeds, in the North of England, which were suspected of hosting illegally operated crypto ATMs. This joint investigation was conducted with local police forces, including the West Yorkshire Police’s Digital Intelligence and Investigation Unit.
Crypto Regulation In The UK
In March 2022, the FCA wrote to all crypto operators and hosts warning them about legal ramifications of operating crypto ATMs without their authorization. There is currently no specific law prohibiting crypto ATMs in the UK; however none have received FCA approval as of yet. Companies that do not follow mandated routes may face criminal penalties of up to two years in prison.
Money Laundering Regulations
Mark Steward, executive director of enforcement and market oversight at FCA said that crypto businesses operating in the UK must register with FCA for anti-money laundering purposes; as crypto products are currently unregulated and high risk. Detective Sergent Lindsay Brants from West Yorkshire police’s Force Cyber Team also issued cease and desist letters to operators who breach any regulations under money-laundering regulations.
The FCA will review evidence gathered during visits to sites suspected of hosting illegally operated crypto ATMs, then consider further enforcement actions based on what they find out during their inspection processs.. Any breach of regulations would lead to an investigation under money-laundering regulations.
It appears that harsher regulations may be implemented across board when it comes to cryptocurrencies in general in UK as well as stricter monitoring on unregistered cryptocurrency ATMS due to its connection with money laundering activities worldwide.. Operators are advised to use only registered companies or face possible imprisonment if found guilty by law enforcement authorities