UK Regulators’ Move Against Crypto ATMs: Web3 Industry Reacts

Crypto ATMs
Crypto ATMs

Key Insights:

  • The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has so far examined 34 locations in the UK rumored to possess crypto ATMs
  • The FCA has closed down 26 such unlawful crypto ATMs
  • UK is now a global crypto hub, it will be worth seeing how this move affects the nation

The UK regulator, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has continued its no-nonsense approach with crypto ATMs in the UK. Some 18 places touted to employ crypto ATMs across the UK were inspected in May and June. 

Crypto ATMs are electronic ATMs that enable you to buy and sell crypto in exchange for fiat or with a debit card. Unlike typical ATMs, crypto ATMs connect to your digital wallet – ensuring absolute privacy.

Although the global installation of crypto ATMs has reportedly declined, the US and Canada are seen as the countries with the most crypto ATMs.

Unfortunately, the UK isn't on the same page as these two nations, for now. Additionally, with the UK government landing strongly on illegal crypto ATMs it remains to be seen how it would affect crypto users, if at all.

The Crackdown on Crypto ATMs in the UK

Throughout the year till now, the FCA has visited and examined 34 sites in the UK alleged to have crypto ATMs. The UK regulator has also closed down 26 of these machines, which are illegal in the country.

They have joined forces with other law enforcement agencies in the country to suppress this criminal activity. This UK regulator has overseen these raids alongside the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit, Bedfordshire Police, Hertfordshire Police, and the Metropolitan Police.

There have been cautions against these illegal crypto ATMs from this UK regulator since March 2022. Also, Steve Smart, the Joint Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA, recently warned,

"If you use a crypto ATM in the UK, you are using a machine operating illegally and may be handing your money over to criminals." 

He further said, 

"You will not be protected if something goes wrong, and you could lose your money."

FCA's appeal
FCA's appeal

Well, someone did lose their money. There were reports of an individual who paid £1,000  into a crypto ATM and, after an unsuccessful transaction, didn't get their money back.

There are reports that 10 locations in the UK house crypto ATMs. Furthermore, only some of the 40+ registered crypto firms in the country are licensed to carry out ATM services.

The UK regulator — and their co-enforcers — seem determined not to leave any stone unturned in their mission against crypto ATMs. 

"We will continue to warn the public and take appropriate enforcement action against unregistered crypto ATM operators."

What is the Potential Impact of this?

The FCA is out to protect the country's interest while maintaining efficient standards in the financial sector. Yet, how do their actions bode for the crypto space?

The Business Development & Partnership Manager (Asia) at Coinstore Exchange, Rizwan Ansari, effusively praised the development in the UK.

"I think the regulation is positive for the crypto space and will gain more trust amongst the people. These UK regulations would also impact the Indian government to think about crypto positively."

Beyond setting an example for other nations, the FCA's regulatory move would rid the UK crypto ecosystem of rotten eggs.

The UK Money Laundering Regulations have stated that all crypto ATMs and exchanges must register with the FCA – a directive that would assist in promoting integrity in the crypto space.

With London ranked among the top crypto hubs in the world based on the number of crypto-related events, specialists, and companies, this UK regulator crackdown marks the latest chapter in the UK's crypto regulatory actions. 

Its strides would further propel the country as a leading crypto hub globally.

Disclaimer: Voice of Crypto aims to deliver accurate and up-to-date information but will not be responsible for any missing facts or inaccurate information. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile financial assets, so research and make your own financial decisions.

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