UK’s financial regulator cracks down on illegal London crypto ATMs
- British authorities are yet again targeting cryptocurrency ATMs In their latest move to interrupt unauthorised businesses in the industry
- Along with West Yorkshire Police, the government body has earlier investigated several locations in Leeds alleged of housing unregistered cryptocurrency ATMs.
In a combined effort with the Metropolitan Police, the Financial Conduct Authority, the UK’s financial overseer, is clamping down on cryptocurrency ATMs (CATMs) and examining several locations in East London where such units are allegedly being used illicitly.
According to a Bloomberg report released on Wednesday, the Financial Conduct Authority “used its powers to examine several sites in East London suspected of hosting illegally operating crypto ATMs,” which enable users to exchange fiat currency for cryptoassets.
Just a few weeks had passed since identical raids in Leeds before the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Metropolitan police collaborated. The devices that enable customers to purchase or exchange conventional currencies into cryptoassets like bitcoin are among those that are thought to have been the initial to tackle crypto dissemination in the UK.
In order to perform investigations into unauthorised crypto ATMs throughout 2023, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has been collaborating with local police departments. The financial watchdog has now expanded its probe into the capital after supporting a raid by West Yorkshire Police upon many sites in Leeds back in February.
The FCA warned CATM owners last year to close down the atms or risk further inquiry. The FCA has long warned consumers that cryptoassets are unsupervised and that investors should indeed be prepared to lose all of their money.
According to CoinATMRadar, a website that lets users look for CATMs worldwide, there will be more than 270 of these cash machines in Britain by the year 2020. It is now displaying only 19 locations; 12 in London, six in Birmingham and one in Manchester.
“Crypto ATMs functioning without FCA licensing are illegal, and as today demonstrates, we will take action to stop this,” said Mark Steward, Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA.
He continues to explain the investigation is an effort to send a “clear message” that the watchdog will persist to locate and thwart unlicensed crypto companies in the UK, along with last month’s action in Leeds.