Key Points

  • UK FCA and other enforcement agencies have investigated 26 crypto ATMs and shut them down.
  • The shutdown was conducted as per the Money Laundering Regulations that were set in place in 2017

UK FCA has joined a growing group of hawkish regulators after spearheading multiple crypto crackdowns. Now, it has ordered the shutdown of 26 crypto ATMs that have worked against set rules.

UK FCA intensifies crypto crackdowns

The report on UK FCA cracking down on crypto ATMs comes at a time when global crypto regulation efforts are intensifying. The regulator worked hand in hand with others to visit and inspect 34 crypto ATMs in 2023, an exercise that concluded with the shutdown of 26 of the inspected ATMs.

The UK FCA had given an ultimatum to all crypto ATMs in February, requiring them to follow the set regulations or wind down their operations. Regarding the development, Steve Smart, the joint executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the UK FCA, said:

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

He added that the U.K. government would not protect victims of the scams associated with such ATMs. 

This development comes when other regulators like the US SEC intensify their efforts and oversight over the crypto space. The US SEC has a record-high budget to help it ‘streamline’ the industry. It is already in significant crypto court battles, with its targets Ripple, Binance, and Coinbase.

The US SEC claims that the crypto industry operates in incompliance and thus needs enforcement to be put in check. This sentiment appears to be shared by the UK FCA, which has been going hard after crypto operations land advertising in the U.K. However, the two regulators are different in that the U.K. expects its first comprehensive crypto regulatory framework, MiCA, to go live in December 2024, while the U.S. doesn’t.

Keep watching Fintech Express for more updates on this and other fintech-related developments.