FCA warning over illegal crypto ATMs

The Financial Conduct Authority has warned operators of crypto ATMs in the UK to shut their machines down or face enforcement action.

The FCA says that crypto ATMs offering cryptoasset exchange services in the UK must be registered with the authority and comply with UK money laundering regulations. It adds that none of the cryptoasset firms registered with the FCA have been approved to offer crypto ATM services, meaning that any of them operating in the UK are doing so illegally and consumers should not be using them.

The Upper Tribunal recently ruled against Gidiplus, a firm offering crypto ATM services, which wanted to continue trading, pending the determination of its appeal against the FCA refusing its application for registration under the MLRs. The judge concluded that there was a ‘lack of evidence as to how Gidiplus would undertake its business in a broadly compliant fashion’.

The FCA said: “We are concerned about crypto ATM machines operating in the UK and will therefore be contacting the operators instructing that the machines be shut down or face further action. Since we published the list of unregistered crypto firms that may have been continuing to conduct business, a recent assessment found that 110 are no longer operational.

“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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