UK’s financial regulator orders shutdown of all Bitcoin ATMs

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The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has warned operators of cryptocurrency ATMs within the UK to close down their machines or else face enforcement motion. In its announcement, the financial watchdog stated that it hasn’t granted any of the crypto corporations registered with it the permission to function ATM providers. That means all crypto ATMs within the UK are unlawful. 

“Crypto ATMs offering cryptoasset exchange services in the UK must be registered with us and comply with UK Money Laundering Regulations,” the regulator wrote. As The Telegraph reviews, there are round 81 purposeful crypto ATMs in Britain primarily based on information from the Coin ATM Radar tracker, positioned principally inside supermarkets and comfort shops.

These ATMs permit customers to deposit money in alternate for cryptocurrency, which they’ll then switch to their digital wallets. The regulator beforehand raised considerations that the machines might be used for money laundering, as a result of they require minimal background checks, particularly for small deposits. 

Gidiplus, a Bitcoin ATM operator, tried to overturn the FCA’s refusal to grant it a license. The regulator argued that unhealthy actors might take benefit of its machines’ weak identification checks on individuals depositing lower than £250. Money launderers and unlawful companies might doubtlessly use a number of “mules” to do small transactions in an effort to keep away from getting observed by authorities. The UK’s Upper Tribunal dominated towards Gidiplus, which has since offered its ATMs to an Eastern European purchaser. 

The regulator ended its announcement with a warning that cryptocurrency is high-risk and that individuals might lost their money if one thing goes improper:

“We regularly warn consumers that cryptoassets are unregulated and high-risk which means people are very unlikely to have any protection if things go wrong, so people should be prepared to lose all their money if they choose to invest in them.”

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