UK Intensifies Crackdown on Unregistered Crypto ATM Operators
- No crypto ATM operators are registered with the FCA.
- Global crypto ATM installations have surpassed 38,000.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the United Kingdom has continued its crackdown on illegal crypto Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), inspecting several sites in the South West of England and Nottinghamshire.
According to an official statement on Friday, the FCA inspections were part of an ongoing effort to combat the use of unregulated crypto ATMs, often abused by criminals to launder illegally obtained cash.
Crypto ATMs allow people to buy or convert money into crypto assets easily. However, the regulator noted that “there are currently no crypto ATM operators registered with the FCA, “which they must be to operate legally.”
In the official statement, Therese Chambers, Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA, said:
The action we’ve taken over the past few months and wider work shows that we will act to stop illegal activity. Besides disrupting unregistered crypto businesses, the joint efforts have helped raise awareness of illegally operated crypto ATMs in the UK among the public.
Notably, the FCA is working with the National Economic Crime Centre to plan and coordinate action with law enforcement partners concerning operators of illegal crypto ATMs.
Early this year, CoinATM Radar reported that over 4,200 BTC ATMs were installed around the globe in 2022, bringing the total figure to 38,602, with the United States leading other countries with a landslide margin.
CoinATMRadar record also noted that the highest year-to-year increase was between January 2021 and January 2022. As of May 5, 2023, there are 33,958 crypto ATM installations worldwide.